Monkeypox is a rare disease. It is caused by one of the viruses in the same family as smallpox. You can get it from contact with an infected person or animal, or by breathing in droplets from an infected person’s cough. The virus can also spread to people who have been scratched or bitten by an infected animal.
A person with monkeypox can be contagious from 2 to 4 days before they show any symptoms up until about 3 weeks after they show symptoms.
This means that people may have monkeypox and not know it because they don’t have any symptoms at first. You should see a doctor if you think you might have it.