What is Monkeypox?

September 14, 2022 |

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This disease has been in the news lately. But what is it and how does it spread?

We don’t know all about monkeypox yet. The most up to date information can be found here:


Here’s what we know for sure so far:

  • Monkeypox is an infection.
  • It’s very unlikely that someone will die if they catch it.
  • It causes a rash that may be painful. 
  • Monkeypox can spread from person to person through contact with the rash.

Here’s what scientists think is likely:

  • Monkeypox might be spread by bodily fluids, such as blood, saliva and semen.
  • Monkeypox might be spread by sharing personal items like clothing, bedding, towels, toothbrushes, sex toys etc.
  • Monkeypox might be spread by sex – anal sex, vaginal sex, oral sex, and rubbing genitals together (even without a penis going into a vagina).

You’ll be less likely to get monkeypox if you:

  • Get vaccinated.
  • Use condoms if you have sex.
  • Talk to your sexual partner(s) about your health and theirs.
  • Keep away from someone if they have monkeypox.
  • Avoid skin contact (like hugs, handshakes etc.) at work, and at parties, movies, concerts, and clubs.

You’ll be less likely to spread monkeypox if you:

  • Look out for sores or rashes on yourself and your family and friends.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Wear a mask.
  • Clean off objects & surfaces that lots of people touch – like doorknobs, faucets etc.


When things like Monkeypox or COVID are in the news, it can feel stressful or scary. If you’re having a hard time with these feelings you can get free, private mental health and substance use support 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from Wellness Together Canada.

You can talk to a mental health professional one on one by calling 1-866-585-0445 or texting WELLNESS to 686868 (for youth) or 741741 (for adults). 

Here are some information pages that the Public Health Agency of Canada has put out about monkeypox.

Monkeypox Chart

Monkeypox Fact Sheet

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