How easy is it to catch monkeypox?

(KRON) – As the supply of the monkeypox vaccine remains limited, many are questioning the likelihood of getting the virus from different public events or environments. KRON4 spoke with Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF, who said the chances of getting monkeypox from public events are very low.

“Monkeypox is not very easy to get and of the ways you get it, the most efficient way in this current outbreak is skin-to-skin contact, particularly with an open sore,” he said.

As we hear more about monkeypox circulating throughout San Francisco and the Bay Area, Dr. Chin-Hong says it’s highly unlikely to contract the virus just by brushing up against someone in passing. He said you’re more likely to get the flu, a cold, or even smallpox at a public event.

“We’re thinking about hours possibly in monkeypox but that’s very efficient when someone’s being intimate with somebody else,” he said.

Dr. Chin-Hong says there’s a much smaller possibility of getting monkeypox through bedding and laundry with fluids or respiratory droplets. KRON4 also had questions about transmission chances at places like the gym where there’s a lot of sweat being transferred on equipment. Dr. Chin-Hong said the probability was low.

He says the same goes for public restrooms. The exception is an extremely unlikely case where someone with open monkeypox lesions used the restroom for an extended period of time and then another person used that same toilet for a longer period. At the end of the day, Dr. Chin-Hong says it’s all about your risk tolerance.

“There was a recommendation once from DPH about wearing long sleeves if you go to an event, and again it’s all about how risk-averse are you?” he said. “Because again that chance encounter with someone 20 feet away at an event who said they were positive later on, it’s really going to be low probability in general.”

KRON ON is streaming news live now

Of course, this is yet another virus that we want no part of. However when it comes to monkeypox, this virus is far less bleak than COVID-19. Dr. Chin-Hong says there have been no known deaths as a result and it’s not likely to catch it multiple times within a year or few. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.