Monkeypox is a disease that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization are monitoring because multiple clusters of monkeypox have been reported in several countries that do not normally report monkeypox, including in Europe and North America. A United States case involving a Massachusetts resident was reported on May 18, 2022. Since that time, several other states, including Rhode Island, have also reported cases.

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Monkeypox can be spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact. CDC and RIDOH offer a monkeypox fact sheet with guidance. The World Health Organization (WHO) has also released a fact sheet containing public health advice for gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men. As the World Health Organization points out in its frequently asked questions about monkeypox, “…Anyone who has close physical contact of any kind with someone who has monkeypox is at risk, regardless of who they are, what they do, who they choose to have sex with or any other factor. Secondly, stigmatizing people because of an illness or a disease is unacceptable. Stigma is only likely to make things worse and stop us from ending this outbreak as fast as we can. We need to all pull together to support anyone who has been infected or who is helping to take care of people who are unwell. We know how to stop this disease, and how we can all protect ourselves and others. Stigma and discrimination is never okay, and it is not okay in relation to this outbreak. We are all in this together.”

Healthcare providers should review RIDOH’s May 24 Provider Advisory, Monkeypox: Key Points for Rhode Island Clinicians, for more information, including how to report suspected cases. Please find the latest information about monkeypox from CDC below (this content may take a moment to load):

At-Risk Populations