June 20, 2022—You may have heard about monkeypox in the news or online. Although some cases have been reported in the U.S., there's no need for alarm. Here are some facts that can help you keep this outbreak in perspective.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare virus that often causes rash or sores, as well as flu-like symptoms. However, most infections are mild, and monkeypox does not spread easily between people unless they've had close contact. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the threat of monkeypox for people in the U.S. is low.
How does it spread?
Monkeypox is spread to a person through infected people or animals. CDC says person-to-person infection can occur if a person has contact with:
Monkeypox sores, scabs or rash.
Sheets, clothes, towels and other items used by someone who has monkeypox.
Respiratory droplets or oral fluids from a person with monkeypox.
That contact could happen if you live with a person who has the virus. It can also spread during contact such as hugging, kissing and sex. Another risk factor is contact with a dead or alive wild or exotic animal from Africa. You should also keep an eye out for symptoms if you have traveled outside the country to a place with confirmed cases of monkeypox.