What Healthcare Professionals Should Know

  • Monkeypox Case Definition
  • Clinicians should test patients with rash consistent with monkeypox, which involves lesions that are firm or rubbery, well-circumscribed, deep-seated, and often develop umbilication during the pustular stage.
  • Some patients present with a febrile prodrome, which might include malaise, chills, headache, or lymphadenopathy.
  • The rash associated with monkeypox can be confused with other diseases that are encountered in clinical practice (e.g., secondary syphilis, herpes, chancroid, and varicella zoster).
  • Although most cases in the current outbreak to date have occurred among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, any patient, regardless of sexual or gender identity, with rash consistent with monkeypox should be considered for testing. Close physical contact with a person’s infectious lesions or respiratory secretions or exposure to contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding can result in transmission.
  • Information on infection prevention and control in healthcare settings is provided on the CDC website Infection Control: Healthcare Settings.
  • Clinicians may consult their local health department for questions about monkeypox, including about testing.
  • Orthopoxvirus Vaccine Guidance for Persons at Risk of Occupational Exposure