CDC recommends that people with monkeypox remain isolated at home or at another location for the duration of illness, but that might not be possible in all situations. Prioritizing isolation and source control strategies helps prevent transmission while balancing the impact of this infection on the daily lives of people diagnosed with monkeypox. These considerations may change as we learn more from the 2022 global outbreak of monkeypox.
Current data suggest people can spread monkeypox from the time symptoms start until all symptoms have resolved, including full healing of the rash with formation of a fresh layer of skin. Ideally, people with monkeypox would remain in isolation for the duration of illness, which typically lasts two to four weeks. However, if a person with monkeypox is unable to remain fully isolated throughout the illness, they should do the following:
While symptomatic with a fever or any respiratory symptoms, including sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough, remain isolated in the home and away from others unless it is necessary to see a healthcare provider or for an emergency.
This includes avoiding close or physical contact with other people and animals.
Cover the lesions, wear a well-fitting mask (more information below), and avoid public transportation when leaving the home as required for medical care or an emergency.
While a rash persists but in the absence of a fever or respiratory symptoms
Cover all parts of the rash with clothing, gloves, and/or bandages.
Wear a well-fitting mask to prevent the wearer from spreading oral and respiratory secretions when interacting with others until the rash and all other symptoms have resolved.
Masks should fit closely on the face without any gaps along the edges or around the nose and be comfortable when worn properly over the nose and mouth.
Until all signs and symptoms of monkeypox illness have fully resolved
Do not share items that have been worn or handled with other people or animals. Launder or disinfect items that have been worn or handled and surfaces that have been touched by a lesion.
Avoid close physical contact, including sexual and/or close intimate contact, with other people.
Avoid sharing utensils or cups. Items should be cleaned and disinfected before use by others.
Avoid crowds and congregate settings.
Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after direct contact with the rash. (CDC.com)