Monkeypox is a life-threatening disease that has led to an alarming increase in cases in North America and Europe over the last three weeks, spreading mainly through male-to-male sex, according to the World Health Organization.
The disease is transmitted through close contact with infected persons, animals, or materials. It penetrates the body through the skin, airway or eyes, nose, or mouth, according to the CDC.
The virus is not considered a sexually transmitted infection, nor is it transmitted through sperm and vaginal fluids, according to WHO officials. Any person in close contact with someone who has the virus is considered to be at high risk of infection, though.
Many diseases can be sexually transmitted. You could have a cough or a cold as a result of sexual contact, but that doesn’t mean it’s a sexually transmitted disease,” Andy Seale, WHO advisor on HIV, hepatitis, and other sexually transmitted infections said.
In response to the increase in monkeypox cases around the world, Bavarian Nordic, a Danish vaccine company, speeds up the production of its smallpox vaccine to help governments fight the growing epidemic, according to a Wall Street Journal report.
On May 21, 92 confirmed and 28 suspected cases of monkeypox were reported to the World Health Organization in 12 countries, including the United States, Australia, Germany, and Spain.
In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention told Fortune last week that health officials are monitoring six individuals for suspected cases of monkey smallpox, All of them were sitting next to someone who flew from May 3 to 4 between Nigeria and London and ended up developing the virus.
Monkeypox is a rare disease linked to smallpox and smallpox that causes fever, aches, and sores. The incubation period, or the time between exposure and onset of symptoms, is typically one to two weeks but may vary from five to 21 days, depending on the CDC.
In Africa, where the disease is usually detected, monkeypox has been lethal in as many as 10% of infected people, according to the CDC. The disease usually lasts from 2 to 4 weeks.