- Monkeypox FAQs
- What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as the variola virus, which causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and Monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
- Is monkeypox deadly?
Infections with the monkeypox virus identified in this outbreak are rarely fatal. Over 99% of people who get this form of the disease are likely to survive. However, people with weakened immune systems, children under eight years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get seriously ill or die. Contact your primary care physician or provider if you are experiencing symptoms or have a rash.
- Who is at risk for monkeypox?
Anyone in close contact with a person with monkeypox is at risk and should take steps to protect themselves. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
Current cases are primarily spreading through sex and other intimate contact among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men (MSM); transgender people; gender-nonconforming people; and nonbinary people. People in these social circles who have multiple or anonymous sex partners are also at a high risk of exposure.
Monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, but it is often transmitted through close, sustained physical contact, which can include sexual contact. Anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation can get and spread monkeypox.