A rare infection, monkeypox is an illness that generally lasts for two to four weeks. It is caused by a virus from the family Poxviridae and the genus Orthopoxvirus. The virus can spread to humans through the bite of an infected animal. Transmission can also occur through direct contact with an infected animal's lesions or body fluids. Less commonly, it can be transmitted from person to person.
In humans, monkeypox symptoms are similar to those seen with smallpox, only milder. Some of these symptoms may include:
- A characteristic rash
- Swollen lymph nodes.
(To learn more about this infection, including a list of conditions your healthcare provider will rule out before making a diagnosis, click Monkeypox.)