The first case of mpox in humans was recorded in 1970 and has been present in many central and western African countries since, but the current outbreak is being monitored as it presents and spreads in different ways than has been seen in the past. In May of 2022, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) began tracking a global mpox outbreak.
Mpox is a rare disease caused by an orthopox virus that is spread through close physical contact, such as skin-to-skin contact or prolonged face-to-face contact with someone that has mpox.
While mpox is not a sexually transmitted infection it can be spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact. It can also be spread through contact with items that have been used by someone with mpox.
Anyone can get mpox, but this outbreak is affecting men that have sex with men at a higher rate. Mpox can only be spread from someone that has symptoms. This type of mpox is rarely fatal, but can cause extremely painful symptoms.