How is monkeypox transmitted? 9 frequently asked questions and safety tips

How is monkeypox transmitted – Around 5,000 cases of monkeypox (orthopoxvirus) have been confirmed in the United States as of right now, and the number of cases is rising worldwide, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monkeypox, which is unrelated to chickenpox and belongs to the same virus family as smallpox (variola virus), is milder than smallpox. Monkeypox is also not a recent disease; the first incidence in a human was noted in 1970.

The monkeypox virus is still present, but it is acting differently now, according to Sara Bares, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at Nebraska Medicine. “Monkeypox used to start off with flu-like symptoms (such as fever and aches and pains in the muscles), then a rash that started on the face and moved lower and outwards. This outbreak is causing distinct symptoms than the others. The majority of cases start with vaginal or anal lesions, or a rash in one or more body locations, either with or without prior flu-like symptoms.”

Based on what we presently know and how to protect yourself, we will address nine frequently asked questions in this article.

How is monkeypox transmitted?

How is monkeypox transmitted


At the moment symptoms appear until the rash has completely recovered (all scabs have gone off) and a new layer of skin has developed, a person with monkeypox can transmit it to others. Usually, the sickness manifests itself two to three weeks after exposure. The disease usually lasts two to four weeks once it has been contracted.

The most typical way that monkeypox is transmitted is through close, face-to-face or direct skin-to-skin contact.

Among the ways it can be transferred are: contact with a monkeypox patient’s bodily fluids, scabs, or rash respiratory secretions, such as those present during long-term close encounters with an infected person

Direct contact during sexual intimacy (oral, anal, and vaginal), including protracted hugging, cuddling, and kissing with an infected individual

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Through the placenta, a pregnant individual can infect their foetus with the virus.

Although it is conceivable to contract monkeypox from an animal and to transmit the infection to an animal, this has not yet been reported in the present outbreak.

It is unknown at this time if monkeypox can spread before a person exhibits symptoms and/or whether it can spread through semen, saliva, and other bodily fluids.

Does monkeypox cause STIs?

Online rumours that people can only contract monkeypox by having intercourse with an infected person are untrue. On the other hand, the virus that causes monkeypox can spread through sexual contact or not. Although it is not regarded as a sexually transmitted infection, it is an infection that can be spread through sex. Researchers are presently examining whether it spreads by vaginal, anal, or semen secretions.

Does the disease only affect males who have intercourse with other men?

No. It is not the only way that monkeypox is spread, despite the fact that men who have intercourse with other men account for a large majority (98%) of current cases. Although while the present outbreak is disproportionately impacting gay or bisexual men, it can afflict anyone and is not just a problem for this group.

Can a person die from monkeypox?

Although monkeypox seldom results in death, it can be excruciatingly painful and have severe symptoms that may necessitate hospitalisation. The standard of living may also be drastically impacted. The lesions may leave scars, and the length of time spent alone may be upsetting. Before a person can leave isolation, all scabs must have dried up, fallen off, and new skin had begun to develop.

Can surfaces transmit monkeypox to me?

You might be unsure about whether you should sanitise whatever you touch because so many frequent inquiries involve either hard or soft surfaces. No, unless you reside with, sleep with, or provide care for an infected individual. Despite the virus being isolated on surfaces in rooms where patients with monkeypox had spent a lot of time, Dr. Bares notes that transmission isn’t usually the result of contact with the virus on these surfaces.

There have not yet been cases of transmission through casual public contact, although the largest danger may be on items that are in close contact with an infected person for the longest time, such as sheets and other high contact surfaces. A person is typically safe in public swimming pools, hotels, restroom seats, aeroplanes, public transit, launderettes, and similar locations thanks to sanitation procedures, chemicals, and hot water washing.

How can I safeguard myself?

Keep up with rigorous hand washing and sanitising routines, especially after coming into touch with ill people or animals. Keep abreast on recent guidelines as they change. As we learn more, some advice might alter.

  • Avoid having intimate relationships with several or unknown partners, including sex.
  • Limit your number of sexual partners and get vaccinated if you are a member of a group that may be more vulnerable.
  • Ask your doctor how to get tested if you have a new rash, genital or anal lesions, a fever, or exhaustion.

Can the monkey pox be treated?

Monkeypox is not currently subject to any approved treatments. However, if symptoms are severe, you may be qualified for an antiviral therapy that is now approved for smallpox. The majority of people recover on their own without treatment (tecovirimat or Tpoxx). Tpoxx is not recommended for treating monkeypox and is not widely available, although your provider may still choose to provide it. For the best course of action, see your provider.

How can I take a test?

Testing is only being done right now at public health labs. If you think you might have the monkeypox:

  • away from other people
  • Contact your primary care doctor and describe your symptoms.
  • Where to go for testing can be advised by your doctor.

Is there a vaccination for monkeypox?

The FDA has authorised the Jynneos vaccine, which contains a live virus that cannot spread the illness. It is not yet accessible to the general public and is in limited supply. Presently, the vaccine is only given to people who are at the greatest risk of contracting the disease, such as those who have already been exposed. It may be administered both before and following a known exposure (within four days and up to 14 days after exposure).

Call 800.922.0000 if you think you might have monkeypox.


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