Monkeypox risk factors

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: Bassel Almarie M.D.[2]


Risk factors for contracting monkeypox virus include close physical contact with infected person or animal (including direct contact with lesions, bodily fluids, and respiratory secretions), direct contact with contaminated materials such as towels[1][2], eating undercooked meat[3], and complex exposures to an infected animal (e.g., invasive bite or scratch that breaks the skin)[4].

Risk factors

  • Close physical contact with an infected person or animal[1][2].
  • Direct contact with lesions, bodily fluids, or respiratory secretions of an infected person or animal[5][3][6].
  • Direct contact with contaminated materials such as animal cages, blankets, or towels[5][4].
  • Consumption of undercooked meat of infected animals[1].
  • Daily exposure or complex exposure to an infected animal. “Complex” exposures (e.g., invasive bite or scratch that breaks the skin) were associated with shorter incubation periods, pronounced signs of systemic illness, and hospitalizations[3][4].


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "Multi-country monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries".
  2. 2.0 2.1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (2003). "Update: multistate outbreak of monkeypox--Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 2003". MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 52 (27): 642–6. PMID 12855947.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Reynolds MG, Davidson WB, Curns AT, Conover CS, Huhn G, Davis JP; et al. (2007). "Spectrum of infection and risk factors for human monkeypox, United States, 2003". Emerg Infect Dis. 13 (9): 1332–9. doi:10.3201/eid1309.070175. PMC 2857287. PMID 18252104.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Reynolds MG, Yorita KL, Kuehnert MJ, Davidson WB, Huhn GD, Holman RC; et al. (2006). "Clinical manifestations of human monkeypox influenced by route of infection". J Infect Dis. 194 (6): 773–80. doi:10.1086/505880. PMID 16941343.
  5. 5.0 5.1 "Infection Control: Healthcare Settings | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC".
  6. Kozlov M (2022). "Monkeypox outbreaks: 4 key questions researchers have". Nature. 606 (7913): 238–239. doi:10.1038/d41586-022-01493-6. PMID 35624160 Check |pmid= value (help).