Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that is in the same family of virus as variola virus, which causes small pox. However, symptoms of monkeypox are much milder and include a rash, fever, headache, muscle aches and is rarely fatal. Monkeypox can be spread through close, personal, and skin-to-skin contact or from exposure to respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact. A person is considered infectious until the rash is fully healed.

Standard cleaning and disinfection procedures should be performed using an EPA-registered hospital-grade disinfectant with emerging viral pathogens claim. Always follow the manufacturer’s directions for concentration, contact time, and care and handling. Disposable gloves should be used while cleaning and using disinfectant agents. Remove and dispose of gloves after use and wash hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water is not available, an alcohol hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol can be used as long as hands are not visibly soiled.

Orthopoxviruses, such as monkeypox are susceptible to 0.5% sodium hypochlorite (bleach solutions), chloroxylenol-based household disinfectants, glutaraldehyde, formaldehyde, and paraformaldehyde. Disinfectants such as Cavicide 1, Caviwipes 1, Sani-cloth wipes, diluted Bleach solution are commonly used at UVA and are found on the EPA Q-list to be effective against the monkeypox virus.

Waste that may be contaminated with monkeypox virus can be handled as regulated medical waste or RMW. This waste material should be placed in a durable, leak-proof container marked as biohazardous and closed prior to transport for treatment and final disposal.


EPA: Disinfectants (registered products)
CDC: Guide F - Environmental Control of Smallpox Virus

General Information

CDC: Signs and Symptoms
WHO: Fact Sheet
ABSA: Pox Virus Toolbox
US DHS: Master Question List for Monkeypox Virus

Laboratory Safety

CDC: Waste Disposal
CDC: Handling Suspected Monkeypox Specimens
CDC: Laboratory Procedures and Biosafety Guidelines
WHO: Interim guidance
APHL: Monkeypox Biosafety Fact Sheet
Public Health Agency of Canada: Pathogen Safety Data Sheets: Monkeypox

Vaccine Information

CDC: JYNNEOS Vaccine Information
CDC: Use of JYNNEOS (Smallpox and Monkeypox Vaccine, Live, Nonreplicating)
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