The monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or from respiratory droplets that can be passed through prolonged face-to-face contact.
Transmission can happen during sex or other intimate activities, such as:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex;
- Hugging, kissing, cuddling and massage;
- Contact with bedding or other items that have the virus on them during or after intimate activity.
People are unlikely to get the virus by trying on clothing in a store or touching nonporous items like door handles and counters. Additionally, some activities that people learned to limit during Covid-19 surges are probably not as risky for monkeypox transmission. For example, sitting on a subway, bus or other public transportation or going to an office or school are unlikely to put people at risk of a monkeypox exposure.