Here’s what you need to know about monkeypox


You may have heard about the spread of a virus called monkeypox. Here are some important things that experts know about monkeypox right now.

The public risk for monkeypox is very low. It is a rare disease. Monkeypox can infect anyone. Most cases have been in men who have sex with men.


Monkeypox symptoms can start like flu symptoms. You may get a fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and general body aches. After 1 to 3 days, you might get sores or a rash. These can appear on or near the genitals, anus or where contact occurred. They can also be on other body areas like the hands, feet, chest and face.

How monkeypox spreads

Monkeypox is spread from one person to another through:

  • Skin-to-skin contact with rash sores.
  • Sexual or intimate contact, including kissing.
  • Household contact or sharing a bed with someone.
  • Contact with towels, unwashed clothes or bedding.
  • Prolonged face-to-face contact in some cases.

You cannot get monkeypox by talking briefly with someone or by walking by someone who is infected.

Avoid getting monkeypox

  • Avoid close contact with people who have symptoms like sores or rashes.
  • Practice good hand hygiene.
  • You may be able to get a vaccine to protect yourself against monkeypox if you have been exposed.

For more information, visit the California Department of Public Health website.