How Does Monkeypox Spread? Officials Warn on These Behaviors and Symptoms

How monkeypox spreads is suddenly becoming a crucial question for people as a viral outbreak crosses the country

NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Monkeypox, once a rare disease seen mostly in small African outbreaks, is now spreading so quickly around the world, top global health officials say they don't know if it's "too late to contain."

There are now 25 confirmed cases in the United States, including 7 in New York City alone, and hundreds more throughout Europe. Public health officials are taking aggressive steps to pre-position vaccines from emergency national stockpiles in anticipation of cases rising even further.

They are also seeking to aggressively educate the public about how monkeypox spreads, particularly as many of the early cases have been linked to sexual contact.

How Does Monkeypox Spread?

New York City health officials published a list Friday night of the various ways that the monkeypox virus can spread during close contact with infected people, or materials that were used by an infected person.

  • Hugging, kissing and talking closely
  • Oral, anal or vaginal sex
  • Mutual masturbation
  • Touching fabrics or objects used by an infected person, like clothes, bedding, or towels

Monkeypox Symptoms and Signs

Doctors say the symptoms of monkeypox start 7 to 14 days after infection with fever, headache, muscle ache and swollen lymph nodes.

Once those symptoms start, within 1 to 3 days, rashes and lesions will begin to form on the face and body, including the genitals.

The CDC said Friday that doctors should test more aggressively for monkeypox, even if they thought a patient had a more common sexually transmitted illness instead.

Copyright NBC New York
Contact Us