Monkeypox is transmitted to humans through contact with an infected animal or human, or with material contaminated with the virus
Virus transmission through direct or indirect contact with live or dead animals is assumed to be the main factor for human Monkeypox infections.
- This may occur by bite or scratch, by handling wild game, direct contact with body fluids or lesions from an infected animal or contaminated material (indirect contact).
- Eating inadequately cooked meat of an infected animal is an additional possible risk factor
Human-to-human transmission can result from close contact with infectious materials including body fluids (including respiratory droplets, and the fluid, pus or blood of skin lesions), rashes, and scabs and through prolonged physical contact, including intimate sexual contact.
- Transmission can occur via broken skin (even if skin appears visibly intact), the respiratory tract, or via the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth.
- Transmission via droplet respiratory particles usually requires prolonged face-to-face contact, which puts health workers, household members and other close contacts of active cases at greater risk.