Page last reviewed: September 22, 2022
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
- Symptoms include a rash or sores (pox), sometimes after flu-like symptoms: fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.
- The rash that can look like pimples or blisters.
- People who develop a rash need to avoid direct contact with other people and contact their health care provider as soon as possible.
- Infectious period: From the time symptoms start until all sores — even scabs — have healed with a new layer of skin formed.
- People need to contact a medial provider if they believe they were exposed or infected with monkeypox.
- Virus spreads through close, direct contact with the rash, scabs, or bodily fluids like saliva; respiratory droplets.