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.

How to Protect Yourself

Monkeypox Prevention Steps

These five steps can help you protect yourself from getting monkeypox:

Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
six images of lesions to help identify monkeypox rash

Examples of Monkeypox Rashes. Photo credit: UK Health Security Agency

This might include skin with what appears to be a rash, pimples, blisters, or scabs.

  • The rash might appear on the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, vagina) or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
Wash your hands often.
wash your hands
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
  • Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect you, your family, and your friends from getting sick.
Get vaccinated!
person with bandage on arm after vaccination
  • The JYNNEOS vaccine is approved for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox. It is the primary vaccine being used in the U.S. during this outbreak.
  • Use the Monkeypox Vaccine Locator to find nearby healthcare locations in your area that provide monkeypox vaccinations.
If you are in Central or West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates.
Image of several prairie dogs grouped together around their tunnel opening

Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they may have touched. Learn more about monkeypox in animals.