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CDC: Monkeypox Prevention Steps (opens in new window)
Take the following three steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
1. Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
2. Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
3. Wash your hands often.
In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.
In this research guide, you will find general information about Monkeypox.
CDC Picture (opens in new window)
MedlinePlus(opens in new window)
The symptoms of monkeypox may include:
Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others may only get a rash.
The latest situation summary and updates are available on CDC’s Monkeypox What's New & Updated web page. (opens in new window)
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is in the same family of viruses as the smallpox virus. But monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox. And its disease causes milder symptoms and is usually not fatal.
In the past, most of the people who got monkeypox lived in certain parts of central and western Africa, had traveled there, or had been exposed to infected animals imported from there. During the 2022 outbreak, the disease has been found in people who live in other countries, including the United States.
There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.
Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.
If you have symptoms of monkeypox, you should talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.