The virus that causes monkeypox is totally distinct from the viruses that cause COVID-19 or measles. It isn’t known to hang about in the air for long periods of time, and it isn’t broadcast during short periods of shared airspace.
Monkeypox is spread by direct contact with body fluids or sores on a monkeypox victim’s body, or direct contact with objects that have come into contact with body fluids or sores, such as clothing or linens.
When people are in close, face-to-face contact, it can also spread through respiratory secretions.
We know that patients who have the disease describe close, continuous physical contact with other people who are afflicted with the virus in the current monkeypox outbreak.
Other putative mechanisms of transfer, such as through sperm, are still being investigated.
Monkeypox virus disseminated by respiratory secretions appears to be infrequent, according to previous studies of the epidemic. Close contact with an infectious person is reported in the majority of cases of monkeypox.
While we don’t know for sure if direct physical contact or respiratory secretions play a role in monkeypox transmission, no known cases of monkeypox have been reported in persons seated around them on airplanes, even on long international trips.
There are significant differences between airborne transmission and respiratory secretion transmission.
Small virus particles become suspended in the air and can stay there for long periods of time, resulting in airborne transmission.
These particles can travel through the air and infect persons who enter a room after an infected person has gone.
Monkeypox, on the other hand, can be detected in airborne droplets such as saliva or respiratory secretions. Monkeypox has not been reported to be transmitted over long distances (e.g., by air).
If patients sick with monkeypox must be among others in their homes and close, face-to-face contact is expected, the CDC presently recommends that they wear a mask.
A patient with suspected or confirmed monkeypox infection should be housed in a single-person room in a hospital setting; additional air handling is not necessary.
Intubation and extubation, for example, should be done in an airborne infection isolation room.
Monkeypox can be transmitted in a number of ways, including:
- Can be contracted through direct skin-to-skin contact (such as contact of a sexual or intimate nature or kissing someone who is infected) with rash lesions
- Living with and sharing a bed with someone infected. Do not share towels or unwashed clothing
- Can be contracted through face-to-face interaction via respiratory secretion
- Maybe contracted through sperm or vaginal secretions
- May be contracted through contact with people who are infected with monkeypox but are yet to have symptoms
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