An outbreak of the monkeypox virus (MPV) has spread across several countries that don't normally report monkeypox, including the United States.
Common symptoms of MPV include rash or unusual sores that look like pimples or blisters on the face, body, and genitals, fever, chills, head or muscle aches, or swelling of lymph nodes.
How it Spreads
MPV spreads mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has the virus. While anyone can get infected with MPV, it has primarily spread through close-knit social networks of gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). Risk is especially high if you are a MSM who has multiple or anonymous sexual partners.
In addition to direct contact with someone with MPV, it can also spread through clothing, bedding/linens, or other materials used by a person infected with MPV, or through respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.
Two vaccines are currently licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to prevent Monkeypox infection. While supply is limited, the current focus is to administer vaccine to those at the highest risk of being exposed to meaningfully interrupt chains of transmission and mitigate MPV spread.
Eligibility for MPV vaccination may change over time, but currently close contacts of someone with MPV are prioritized for vaccination.
In addition, people who meet all the following conditions are eligible for vaccination:
- Gay, bisexual, and other (cis or trans) men who have sex with men (MSM).
- Age 18 or older.
- Had multiple or anonymous sex partners, sex at a social or sexual venue, or sex in exchange for money or goods within the last 14 days.