CDC is updating webpages with the term "mpox" to reduce stigma and other issues associated with prior terminology. This change is aligned with the recent World Health Organization decision.

Preventing Spread to Others

If you have monkeypox, you are advised to stay at home (isolate) if you have monkeypox symptoms, including until your monkeypox rash has healed and a new layer of skin has formed. Staying away from other people and not sharing things you have touched with others will help prevent the spread of monkeypox. Monkeypox can also spread to animals, so staying away from pets, livestock and other animals is important.

Not every person has the same ability or resources to remain at home for a long period of time. The table below provides options for how to prevent spreading monkeypox to others, organized by the risk of spread. Whenever possible, higher risk options should be avoided, and the lowest risk options should be followed.

Situation*

Situation*

Situation*

Lowest Risk

Lowest Risk

Lowest Risk

Intermediate Risk

Intermediate Risk

Intermediate Risk

Higher Risk

Higher Risk

Higher Risk

Living Space

Situation*

Living Space

Remain alone in a home or where only others with monkeypox are located.

Cover upholstered furniture and porous materials that cannot be washed with sheets, blankets, tarps, and other covers.

Lowest Risk

Remain alone in a home or where only others with monkeypox are located.

Cover upholstered furniture and porous materials that cannot be washed with sheets, blankets, tarps, and other covers.

Remain in a separate room in a home or facility away from others who do not have monkeypox.

Cover all upholstered furniture and porous surfaces with sheets, blankets, tarps, or other covers.

Wear a well-fitting mask and cover lesions while around others.

Disinfect surfaces (doorknobs, countertops) between each use.

Intermediate Risk

Remain in a separate room in a home or facility away from others who do not have monkeypox.

Cover all upholstered furniture and porous surfaces with sheets, blankets, tarps, or other covers.

Wear a well-fitting mask and cover lesions while around others.

Disinfect surfaces (doorknobs, countertops) between each use.

Share space with others but avoid close contact.
Do not share a bed with another person.

Wear a well-fitting mask and cover lesions while around others.

Disinfect surfaces (doorknobs, countertops) between each use.

Higher Risk

Share space with others but avoid close contact.
Do not share a bed with another person.

Wear a well-fitting mask and cover lesions while around others.

Disinfect surfaces (doorknobs, countertops) between each use.

Bathroom

Situation*

Bathroom

Use a separate bathroom not shared by others.

Lowest Risk

Use a separate bathroom not shared by others.

Use a shared bathroom, but disinfect surfaces (counters, toilet seats, faucets, shower, bathtub) between each use.

Do not share towels, washcloths, or objects in the bathroom like toothbrushes or drink from the same glass.

Intermediate Risk

Use a shared bathroom, but disinfect surfaces (counters, toilet seats, faucets, shower, bathtub) between each use.

Do not share towels, washcloths, or objects in the bathroom like toothbrushes or drink from the same glass.

Use a shared bathroom that is cleaned frequently.

Clean shared objects between use.

Do not share towels or washcloths even if they have been washed in-between use.

Higher Risk

Use a shared bathroom that is cleaned frequently.

Clean shared objects between use.

Do not share towels or washcloths even if they have been washed in-between use.

Shared Items (linens, clothing, cups, dishes, eating utensils, etc.)

Situation*

Shared Items (linens, clothing, cups, dishes, eating utensils, etc.)

Do not share items with others.

Lowest Risk

Do not share items with others.

Wash any items that will be used by others with detergent (or soap) and water thoroughly after each use.

Intermediate Risk

Wash any items that will be used by others with detergent (or soap) and water thoroughly after each use.

Higher Risk

Leaving Home to Get Supplies or Care

Situation*

Leaving Home to Get Supplies or Care

Do not leave your home (except for emergencies).

Have all supplies delivered without direct contact with others.

Lowest Risk

Do not leave your home (except for emergencies).

Have all supplies delivered without direct contact with others.

Only leave home for emergencies and essential activities while wearing a well-fitting mask, with all lesions fully covered.

Walk, bike, or drive by yourself if you need to leave. Avoid public transit.

Disinfect any shared vehicles.

Avoid ride-share services.

Intermediate Risk

Only leave home for emergencies and essential activities while wearing a well-fitting mask, with all lesions fully covered.

Walk, bike, or drive by yourself if you need to leave. Avoid public transit.

Disinfect any shared vehicles.

Avoid ride-share services.

Perform limited daily activities outside the home with all lesions fully covered and wearing a well-fitting mask.

Avoid public transit as much as possible. If public transit is your only option, try to avoid busy transit times and keep as much distance between yourself and others as possible.

If you use ride share services, minimize the number of passengers in the vehicle, keep as much distance as possible from the driver, wear a mask, and open windows if possible.

Higher Risk

Perform limited daily activities outside the home with all lesions fully covered and wearing a well-fitting mask.

Avoid public transit as much as possible. If public transit is your only option, try to avoid busy transit times and keep as much distance between yourself and others as possible.

If you use ride share services, minimize the number of passengers in the vehicle, keep as much distance as possible from the driver, wear a mask, and open windows if possible.

Working Away from Home**

Situation*

Working Away from Home**

Do not leave your home for work. Telework instead.

Lowest Risk

Do not leave your home for work. Telework instead.

Work in a separate space away from others with all lesions fully covered and wearing a well-fitting mask. Limit your time in the workplace as much as you can. Do not use shared spaces like breakrooms, common bathrooms, meeting rooms, etc.

Disinfect your work surfaces after you finish your work.

Walk, bike, or drive yourself if you need to travel to work. Avoid public transit.

Disinfect any shared vehicles.

Avoid ride-share services.

Intermediate Risk

Work in a separate space away from others with all lesions fully covered and wearing a well-fitting mask. Limit your time in the workplace as much as you can. Do not use shared spaces like breakrooms, common bathrooms, meeting rooms, etc.

Disinfect your work surfaces after you finish your work.

Walk, bike, or drive yourself if you need to travel to work. Avoid public transit.

Disinfect any shared vehicles.

Avoid ride-share services.

Maintain as much distance between yourself, co-workers, and the public as you can.

Wear a well-fitting mask and cover rash while around others.

Clean/disinfect surfaces that could be used by others in common areas like breakrooms, bathrooms, meeting rooms, etc.

Avoid public transit as much as possible. When not feasible, try to avoid busy transit times and keep as much distance between yourself and others as possible.

If you use ride share services, minimize the number of passengers in the vehicle, keep as much distance as possible from the driver, wear a mask, and open windows if possible.

Higher Risk

Maintain as much distance between yourself, co-workers, and the public as you can.

Wear a well-fitting mask and cover rash while around others.

Clean/disinfect surfaces that could be used by others in common areas like breakrooms, bathrooms, meeting rooms, etc.

Avoid public transit as much as possible. When not feasible, try to avoid busy transit times and keep as much distance between yourself and others as possible.

If you use ride share services, minimize the number of passengers in the vehicle, keep as much distance as possible from the driver, wear a mask, and open windows if possible.

Living with Animals

Situation*

Living with Animals

Avoid contact with any pets in the home or other animals, especially mammals.

Lowest Risk

Avoid contact with any pets in the home or other animals, especially mammals.

Minimize petting/touching of pets and other animals.

If touching animals, keep rash fully covered to avoid contact between the rash and the animal.

Wear a well-fitting mask.

Intermediate Risk

Minimize petting/touching of pets and other animals.

If touching animals, keep rash fully covered to avoid contact between the rash and the animal.

Wear a well-fitting mask.

Higher Risk

*From the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

**Persons with monkeypox may need to work with their employer on accommodations if they are unable to stay home from work during the period when isolation is recommended.

Keep reading…

Cleaning and Disinfecting at Home

During the infectious period of time, body fluids, respiratory secretions, and lesion material from people with monkeypox can contaminate the environment. Poxviruses can survive in linens, clothing and on environmental surfaces, particularly when in dark, cool, and low humidity environments. People with monkeypox should clean and disinfect the spaces they occupy regularly to limit household contamination.

Read more: Cleaning and Disinfecting

Notifying Close Contacts

If you have been diagnosed with monkeypox, it’s important to notify your close contacts that they may have been exposed to monkeypox as soon as possible, so they can watch for signs and symptoms, get tested and isolate if they have symptoms, and consider getting vaccinated.

Read more: Notifying Close Contacts