Last updated:


The information, and resources, below are updated regularly, so make sure to check back often to ensure you are receiving the most up to date information.

Monkeypox is a viral infection that can infect animals and humans and spreads mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox.  

In May 2022, public health officials began tracking a global outbreak of monkeypox that has spread across several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox.  Cases currently appear to be spreading within sexual and social networks, and have been observed among men who have sex with men (MSM). However, the risk of monkeypox is not limited to people who are sexually active or MSM. Anyone can get or pass along monkeypox. BPHC wants to reiterate that stigmatizing people because of a disease is never acceptable. We need to advocate against stigma and discrimination: We are all in this together. 

All Boston residents living in the City of Boston who are diagnosed with monkeypox are contacted and followed by the Boston Public Health Commission’s Infectious Diseases Bureau throughout their disease course to provide information and support. 

Review the current Monkeypox data.
(posted 10/11/2022)


The Facts About Monkeypox

You can protect yourself and others from getting monkeypox. 

Share our fact sheet

The Basics

The Basics

Monkeypox is not a gay disease. The risk of monkeypox is not limited to people who are sexually active or men who have sex with men.

Anyone can get or spread monkeypox. Monkeypox is most commonly spread through close and sustained intimate contact, including:

  • Direct “skin to skin” or “skin to mouth” contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs:
  • Sexual contact
  • Touching, hugging, massaging, kissing
  • Prolonged face to face contact with respiratory droplets from a person with monkeypox (less common)
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
  • Animal to human transmission is also possible, ex. by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.

A person with monkeypox is considered infectious from the beginning of symptoms. They can stay that way until sores have crusted, scabbed over, fallen off, and a fresh layer of healthy skin has formed underneath. This can often take several weeks.

Our priority is to raise awareness of monkeypox among our residents, communities, and healthcare partners about monkeypox virus symptoms, treatment, and vaccination. This is important because:

  1. Infected people can notice their symptoms early, stay away from others, and seek care and treatment from a healthcare provider.
  2. Public health authorities and medical providers can identify cases early and notify close contacts and those who may have been exposed to monkeypox so they can be vaccinated to prevent infection. 
  3. Individuals who are eligible to get vaccinated for monkeypox can get vaccinated to protect themselves from getting infected. For more info on vaccine eligibility, see here.
Watch: What is the current status of monkeypox?

Guidance Presentations


Schools Guidance (uploaded 10/3/22)

Colleges Guidance (uploaded 10/3/22)

EEC Guidance (uploaded 10/3/22)

Back to top