FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions about Monkeypox

More FAQs are available on the CDC's website.

 

Does monkeypox come from monkeys?

Cases in this outbreak are being spread primarily person to person. Monkeypox virus gets its name from the first two outbreaks in 1958, in which monkeys kept for research developed this pox-like disease. The source of the disease remains unknown.

 

Is monkeypox is only a sexually transmitted disease?

Monkeypox is spread through prolonged skin to skin contact—which occurs a lot when having sex. The primary transmission for this outbreak is through close personal contact, but there are other methods of transmission such as contact with materials that have touched infectious lesions, like blankets or bedsheets.

 

Can only men who have sex with men get monkeypox?

Anyone can get monkeypox. Currently cases have been concentrated among men who have sex with men, because of increased close contact within intimate social networks.

 

Is monkeypox is the same as chickenpox?

Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox, it is closer in relation to smallpox. Monkeypox is painful and it is not recommended to infect yourself or others purposefully.

 

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox spread by contact with lesions, body fluids, contaminated materials, and respiratory droplets.

 

How serious is monkeypox?

Most infections last 2 to 4 weeks and resolve without treatment. Monkeypox is rarely fatal and >99% of people will recover. Monkeypox is painful and it is not recommended to infect yourself or others purposefully.

 

What should I do if I am exposed to monkeypox?

There are vaccines and treatment available. If you have symptoms or may have been exposed, please contact your healthcare provider.

 

Is monkeypox as contagious as COVID-19?

No, monkeypox is much less contagious. The most common route of monkeypox transmission is vigorous rubbing of infected sores, scabs, or body fluids directly or indirectly (through objects) to another person; however droplet transmission can still occur with very close extended contact.

 

Can I get monkeypox while running errands?

The most common route of monkeypox transmission is vigorous rubbing of infected sores, scabs, or body fluids directly or indirectly (through objects) to another person; however droplet transmission can still occur with very close extended contact.

Examples of High-Risk Activities

  • Any type of sexual contact
  • Sharing bedsheets, towels, clothing
  • Kissing, hugging, cuddling

Examples of Low-Risk Activities

  • Riding a bus or subway
  • Trying on clothing at a store
  • Casual conversations