How does monkeypox spread?

People with monkeypox are infectious while they have symptoms (normally 2–4 weeks). You can catch monkeypox through close physical contact with someone who has symptoms. The rash, bodily fluids (such as fluid, pus or blood from skin lesions) and scabs are particularly infectious. Clothing, bedding, towels or objects like eating utensils/dishes that have been contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person can also infect others.

Ulcers, lesions or sores in the mouth can be infectious, meaning the virus can spread through saliva. People who closely interact with someone who is infectious, including health workers, household members, sexual partners and commercial sex workers, are therefore at greater risk for infection.

Last updated: 12-08-2022