Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close contact, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with an infected person’s rash, scabs, or body fluids, including prolonged exposure to respiratory secretions.
- Face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as hugging, kissing, cuddling, massaging oral, anal, and vaginal sex, or touching the genitals of an infected person.
- Touching infected surfaces (fomites) can potentially transmit the virus.
It is also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal, by preparing or eating meat, or by using products from an infected animal.
Monkeypox can spread from when symptoms start until the rash has fully healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Asymptomatic infected people may appear unable to spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.