BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) wants to put an end to the myth regarding monkeypox. Monkeypox is not a sexual transmitted infection but it can spread through close physical contact with an infected person’s sores, including kissing, cuddling, or sex.

“It is not a gay disease,” LDH says.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a possibly painful rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. Illness could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with chickenpox. 

Most people with monkeypox recover in 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, children and pregnant people.

Monkeypox virus is most often spread from one person to another, through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus.

To learn more about the symptoms and signs of monkeypox, click here.