The Facts About Monkeypox
What Is It?
Monkeypox is a rare infection caused by the monkeypox virus. A small number of cases have been recently reported in the U.S., Canada, and Europe—areas where it isn’t usually found.
Monkeypox can make you sick including a rash or sores (pox), sometimes with a flu-like illness.
How Is It Spread?
The virus can spread to anyone through close, personal, or skin-to-skin contact, including:
Contact with monkeypox rash, sores or scabs.
Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
Through respiratory droplets or saliva from a person with monkeypox.
These kinds of contact can happen during:
- Talking closely with someone
- Hugging, kissing, touching, massage
- Close, sexual contact
- Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox, such as bedding, towels and sex toys
The virus can be spread in fluid or pus from monkeypox sores. It is not yet known if it is present in semen or vaginal fluids.
What Are the Symptoms?Monkeypox causes a rash or sores. It can also make you feel like you have the flu.
A rash or sores can be on the hands, feet, chest, face, penis, or inside or on the mouth, vagina, and anus (butt).
Sores will go through several stages before healing.
Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin
has formed—this can take several weeks.
Flu-like symptoms can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen glands
What to Do if You Have Symptoms
If you have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms...
- See your healthcare provider. If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit health.maryland.gov/CSTIP/local to find a health department near you
- When you see a healthcare provider for possible monkeypox, remind them that this virus may be circulating in the community.
- Avoid close physical contact with anyone until you have talked to a healthcare provider.
If you or your partner have Monkeypox...
- Follow the treatment and prevention recommendations of your healthcare provider.
- Avoid close physical contact with anyone until all your sores have healed and you have a fresh layer of skin formed.