What to Know About Monkeypox

What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by monkeypox virus. It was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys who were being kept for research, and the first human case was recorded in 1970.  Monkeypox was mostly seen in African countries. But currently, an outbreak is spreading fast outside of Africa. The virus has been reported in at least a dozen countries, including the U.S.

How does monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads when a person comes into contact with an animal or human with the virus. It can spread through contact with body fluids and monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), sexual contact, or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact. Transmission may occur during sex through skin-to-skin and other intimate contacts.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Monkeypox often begins as flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, chills, and muscle aches. The distinctive identification of monkeypox is a pimple-like rash that appears anywhere on your body, especially in the genital area.

How can you prevent monkeypox?

  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms
  • Avoid contact with infected animals
  • Avoiding contact with contaminated materials, such as clothing and bedding
  • Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans
  • Use appropriate PPE when caring for others with symptoms

Can monkeypox be treated?
At this time, there are no specific treatments available for monkeypox infections. Medication may be used to ease the symptoms of illness. In some cases, a vaccine can be given to prevent the disease after a high-risk exposure to the virus.

What should I do if I think I may have monkeypox?
If you think you are infected with monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider ASAP and avoid close contact with others.

For more information, please visit www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html