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What is monkeypox?

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How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close contact, including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.
  • Intimate contact (oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals of a person with monkeypox).
  • Hugging, massage, and kissing.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
  • A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
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What can I do to protect myself from 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.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
  • CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox.
  • If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.