Monkeypox spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with the infectious rash, scab, or body fluids. Sometimes, someone can catch the virus when they touch clothes or bed linens that have touched the rash or body fluid. Additionally, transmission is also possible through close exposure to respiratory droplets. For instance, someone with an infected sore in their mouth or throat could spread it when they come into close face-to-face contact with people, added Quimby. However, the CDC states you can't spread the virus through casual conversation.
Monkeypox is not easily transmitted through the air, yet, Quimby explains that a small risk of aerosol spread is possible. That's when someone breathes a droplet containing the virus floating in the air. While this virus is not known to linger in the air, more research is needed. For now, experts recommend monkeypox patients limit their contact with others as a precaution.
Monkeypox is most contagious when symptoms are present in the early days of the infection. In contrast, a person is least contagious when the rash completely heals. The illness can last two to four weeks. According to the CDC, people who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.