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Monkeypox

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Symptoms

  • Flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, swollen lymph nodes and fatigue. These symptoms may occur before or after the rash appears, or not at all. 
  • A rash that
    • can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other body parts like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. 
    • The rash goes through different stages before healing completely.
    • View examples of monkeypox rashes here.
  • The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

How is Monkeypox Spread?

Monkeypox is spread through close, physical contact between individuals. This includes:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox sores or rashes on an individual who has monkeypox.
  • Respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with monkeypox, particularly for those who have close contact with someone or are around them for a long period of time.
  • It can also be spread through contact with objects or fabrics (e.g., clothing, bedding, towels) that have been used by someone with monkeypox.

Vaccination

CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox. 

  • JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) is a vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent monkeypox and can be used before and after exposure to monkeypox. 
    • JYNNEOS is given in a 2 dose series for the prevention of monkeypox among adults ages 18 years and older. 
    • If given before exposure or within 4 days of exposure, this vaccine may reduce the likelihood of infection, and within 14 days, it may reduce severity of symptoms.

More information about monkeypox vaccination

Prevention

  • Ask your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with monkeypox.
  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox. 
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox. 
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox. 
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched. 
  • If you are sick with monkeypox: 
    • Isolate at home 
    • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.

Resources

For Healthcare Providers