How monkeypox Spreads: Transmission & Protection

As the monkeypox outbreak in the U.S. & globally worsens, researchers are learning how the virus spreads & infects people. 

Misinformation & confusion about the virus' transmission are spreading, especially on social media. 

In some cases, misinformation is spreading faster than the monkeypox virus itself. 

To control monkeypox & allow people to protect themselves or get treatment, it's important to understand how it spreads. 

Here's how the virus spreads, your risk of getting it, & how to avoid misinformation. 

Monkeypox can be spread in several ways, but intimate contact is the most common, says Hana El Sahly, MD, of Baylor College of Medicine. 

"Monkeypox is transmitted through skin contact or mucosal surfaces, especially respiratory ones," says Dr. El Sahly. Mouth, rectum, & genital mucosa. 

"Se*ual contact may allow one or both transmission modes," she said. 

This is due to how infectious monkeypox sores are, said David Wohl, MD, of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. 

"While PCR studies could find monkeypox virus in someone's saliva, semen, or elbow, weeping lesions pose the most risk," Dr. Wohl told Health. 

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