Just how infectious is monkeypox? Elizabeth Tracey reports

August 22, 2022

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Monkeypox doesn’t spread as easily as many other infectious diseases, says Amesh Adalja, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. Adalja compares monkeypox spread within households with other viruses.

Adalja: When you look at the household attack rate it doesn’t seem to be spreading very easily so for example if you take a disease like measles the number of people in a household that will get measles if one person has it is basically 100%. For Covid maybe 20-40%, depending on which variant. And when you look at monkeypox in households, it doesn’t seem to do that. Just because there’s multiple mechanisms for a virus to get from person to person doesn’t mean it’s using all of those. It’s really important to focus on what is the main way, what’s driving the transmission? With this monkeypox outbreak it’s really close skin to skin contact.  :32

Adalja says in general fewer than 10% of household contacts of people with monkeypox may become infected. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.

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