Last Updated: August 07, 2022
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Table of Contents

    ​2022 Situation Summary 

    General Information 

    What is monkeypox?

    Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which is in the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. It was first identified as a pox-like disease in monkeys kept for research, hence the name “monkeypox."

    Known primarily for its characteristic rash with lesions that scab over, the monkeypox rash can occur on the palms and soles, or be generalized affecting other areas including perianal or genital areas. The incubation period (the time from infection with monkeypox to the time symptoms appear) is on average 7 to 14 days. Monkeypox is treatable; however, the disease is occasionally fatal.

    Note that the rash associated with monkeypox can be confused with other rashes associated with sexually transmitted infections (STIs), such as still-common herpes and syphilis. However, it is also possible to be infected with both monkeypox and an STI.

    Who is at risk for monkeypox?

    People at higher risk for monkeypox infection include those who have recently travelled to a country where monkeypox has been identified, having contact with other people who have a similar rash or have received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed monkeypox, and men who report having had intimate contact with other men.

    How is monkeypox spread?

    Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, and often skin-to-skin contact including:

    • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs
    •  Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
    • Through respiratory droplets or oral fluids from a person with monkeypox (but less transmissible through the airborne-only route than viruses such as the COVID or influenza)
    • During intimate sexual contact such as oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals or anus of a person with monkeypox
    • Hugging, massaging, or kissing and talking closely

    Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed; this can take several weeks.

    What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

    Monkeypox symptoms can include: 

    • Fever
    • Headache
    • Muscle aches
    • Backache
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Chills
    • Exhaustion
    • A rash or sores, sometimes located on or near the genitals or anus, also could appear in other areas such as the hands, feet, chest, or face

    Do military healthcare workers know about monkeypox?

    Military healthcare providers are being advised to follow the CDCs advisory for all clinicians to be on the lookout for possible monkeypox cases as infected or potentially infected persons need to be isolated to prevent further infections.


    Information for Clinicians

    Clinicians can find more information in Technical Informati​on Paper 13-036-0622, Monkeypox, Frequently Asked Questions for Clinicians.



    Monkeypox, Signs and SymptomsExternal Link - CDC

    Monkeypox Virus Infection in the United States and Other Non-endemic Countries—2022​External Link​ - CDC 

    Monkeypox, Past U.S. Cases and OutbreaksExternal Link - CDC 

    Monkeypox, Transmission​External Link - CDC  

    Monkeypox Facts for People Who are Sexually Active​External Link​ - CDC  

    Fact Sheet 13-025-0622, Monkeypox Frequently Asked Questions​ - APHC

    Fact Sheet: Biden-Harris Administration's Monkeypox Outbreak Response, June 28, 2022​ External Link - The White House


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