Transmission (How it Spreads)

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Monkeypox can be transmitted to anyone. 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. The following are some ways Monkeypox can spread:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox
  • Touching objects, clothing, bedding, towels, and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
  • Contact with respiratory secretions through prolonged, close, face-to-face encounters

Some examples of actions that may spread Monkeypox include:

  • Sexual or close intimate activity with a person who has monkeypox
  • Hugging and kissing
  • Massage
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact
  • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys
  • A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
  • It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal

The risk of contracting monkeypox is based on exposure – an individual must be exposed to enough virus to become infected.

What is currently known about monkeypox transmission indicates that sharing bedding or towels with someone who is infected with monkeypox would carry more risk than passing encounters with money, a door handle, or other environmental surfaces

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