Common Monkeypox Misconceptions, Debunked by Doctors

The first case of monkeypox in the United States during the current outbreak was reported in May 2022. Since then the virus has become a public health emergency, infecting tens of thousands of people in this country and around the world, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

As monkeypox has spread so has misinformation about the illness, causing confusion and fear.

If you’re unclear about how worried you should be about monkeypox and want to make sure you’re following the latest recommendations, we’re here for you. Below, experts clear up misconceptions and provide the facts.

Misconception No. 1: Monkeypox is a new disease, just like COVID-19 is.

Although most Americans have only heard of monkeypox recently, “We’ve known about it since the late 1950s,” says Jessica Justman, MD, associate professor of medicine in epidemiology at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

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