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Monkeypox: What You Need to Know

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Monkeypox virus (MPV) is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Despite being named “monkeypox,” the source of the disease remains unknown.

Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through direct contact with infected lesions or fluids or contact with contaminated materials like clothing or bedding. It also can be spread by respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact. Monkeypox has an average incubation period of 6 to 13 days, with a range of 5 to 21 days.   

Although a majority of cases in the current phase of the 2022 MPV outbreak have occurred among gay and bisexual men, anyone can be affected regardless of sexual orientation. While evidence to date in the current outbreak has not identified a new mechanism of infection unique to sexual transmission, MPV can be transmitted through prolonged physical contact, including intimate sexual contact. The latest case data by state and by age, gender, race/ethnicity and symptoms are available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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