Monkeypox Symptoms: What You Need to Know

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that can cause a wide range of symptoms.

Monkeypox Symptoms: What You Need to Know
Photo by Alexander Grey / Unsplash

Monkeypox is a rare viral disease that affects humans and animals. The symptoms of monkeypox can range from mild to severe and can be fatal in some cases. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms of monkeypox, how the disease is spread, and what you can do to protect yourself.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus. The virus is similar to the human smallpox virus but is less severe. The disease was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys in Africa and was later found to affect humans as well. Monkeypox is primarily found in Central and West Africa but has also been reported in other parts of the world, including the United States.

Monkeypox Symptoms

The symptoms of monkeypox typically appear within 7 to 14 days after infection. The initial symptoms are similar to the flu and include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Fatigue
  • Backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes

After a few days, a rash develops, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body. The rash progresses to small, fluid-filled blisters that eventually crust over and fall off. Other symptoms that may occur include:

  • Chills
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

The severity of the symptoms can vary widely, with some people experiencing only mild symptoms while others may become seriously ill.

How is Monkeypox Spread?

Monkeypox is primarily spread through close contact with infected animals or people. The virus can be transmitted through:

  • Direct contact with the blood, bodily fluids, or skin lesions of an infected person or animal
  • Indirect contact with contaminated objects such as bedding or clothing
  • Inhalation of respiratory droplets from an infected person

The risk of contracting monkeypox is highest in areas where the disease is endemic, such as Central and West Africa. However, travelers to these areas should also take precautions to avoid infection.


Currently, there is no specific treatment for monkeypox. However, supportive care can help manage the symptoms of the disease. Prevention is the best course of action, and several steps can be taken to reduce the risk of infection:

  • Avoid close contact with infected animals or people
  • Practice good hygiene, including regular hand washing with soap and water
  • Use personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks when caring for infected individuals
  • Avoid consumption of bushmeat, which has been linked to the spread of monkeypox in some cases


Monkeypox is a rare disease, but it is important to be aware of the symptoms and how the disease is spread. If you are traveling to an area where monkeypox is endemic, take precautions to avoid infection. If you develop symptoms of monkeypox, seek medical attention immediately. For more information on monkeypox, visit our blog or FAQ page. To stay updated on monkeypox cases and testing data, visit our Monkeypox Cases and Deaths by Country and Monkeypox Cases and Deaths by US State pages.