Monkeypox in Multiple Countries

Warning - Level 3, Avoid Nonessential Travel
Alert - Level 2, Practice Enhanced Precautions
Watch - Level 1, Practice Usual Precautions

As the COVID-19 situation around the world changes, CDC is monitoring COVID-19 risk in each country and making travel recommendations. If you are considering international travel, see CDC’s COVID-19 Travel Recommendations by Destination.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with monkeypox virus. Monkeypox occurs throughout Central and West Africa, often near tropical rain forests.

People usually become infected with the monkeypox virus through contact with the skin lesions or bodily fluids of infected animals or humans (alive or dead), including respiratory droplets, or through contact with materials contaminated with the virus.

Symptoms include fever (≥100.4°F), headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash. Lesions typically develop at the same time and evolve together on any given part of the body. Lesions progress through several stages before falling off (macules, papules, vesicles, pustules, scabs). Patients are usually ill for 2–4 weeks.

Monkeypox is fatal in as many as 1 to 11% of people who become infected. Prior vaccination against smallpox may provide protection against monkeypox.

Key points

  • Cases of monkeypox have been reported in many countries around the world (see global map of cases). Some cases were reported among men who have sex with men. Some cases were also reported in people who live in the same household as an infected person.
  • Many of these people have not recently been in central or west African countries where monkeypox usually occurs, including the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria, among others.
  • Travelers should:
    • Avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions.
    • Avoid contact with dead or live wild animals such as small mammals including rodents (rats, squirrels) and non-human primates (monkeys, apes).
    • Avoid eating or preparing meat from wild game (bushmeat) or using products derived from wild animals from Africa (creams, lotions, powders).
    • Avoid contact with contaminated materials used by sick people (such as clothing, bedding, or materials used in healthcare settings) or that came into contact with infected animals.
  • Risk to the general public is low, but you should seek medical care immediately if you develop new, unexplained skin rash (lesions on any part of the body), with or without fever and chills, and avoid contact with others. If possible, call ahead before going to a healthcare facility. If you are not able to call ahead, tell a staff member as soon as you arrive that you are concerned about monkeypox. Tell your doctor if in the month before developing symptoms:
    • You had contact with a person that might have had monkeypox.
    • You are a man who has had intimate contact (including sex) with other men.
    • You were in an area where monkeypox has been reported or in an area where monkeypox is more commonly found (the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Republic of the Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Gabon, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan).
  • If you are sick and could have monkeypox, delay travel by public transportation until you have been cleared by a healthcare professional or public health officials.

Traveler Information

Clinician Information