How Mpox is Spread
How does mpox spread?
The mpox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has mpox.
People with mpox are contagious until all their scabs fall off and a fresh layer of intact skin forms. This can take 2-4 weeks.
Mpox CAN spread from person to person through:
- Sexual or intimate contact (including oral, anal, and vaginal sex)
- Hugging, kissing, cuddling, and massage
- Sharing a bed, towel, or clothes that have not been washed
Mpox does NOT spread from person to person through:
- Walking by someone who is infected
- Casual conversation with someone infected
Scientists are still researching:
- If the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms.
- How often mpox is spread through respiratory secretions, or when a person with mpox symptoms might be more likely to spread the virus through respiratory secretions.
- Whether mpox can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.
Prevention of Mpox
How can I help prevent the spread of mpox?
- If you have symptoms of mpox, such as a new rash, stay home and call your healthcare provider.
- Do not touch another person’s rash or scabs.
- Do not share eating utensils, cups, clothing, bedding, towels, or personal grooming devices.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with infected people or animals.
- Wear a mask in situations where you may have lengthy or close face-to-face contact with people who may be infected.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more information about prevention for people who are sexually active.
If you are at risk for contracting mpox, you may be eligible for vaccination. Please visit our vaccination page for more information.
Last updated: February 8, 2022
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