Monkeypox explained: How to protect yourself 

The World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern, but it's not a disease that the general public has been familiar with.

For well over a decade, members of the scientific community have been concerned about the potential of a monkeypox epidemic.

With nearly 16,000 reported cases worldwide and counting, here's what you need to know about monkeypox, how to protect yourself and what to do if you think you have it.

Besides the reference to wildlife, the only similarity between monkeypox and chickenpox is that they're a virus.

Instead, monkeypox is most similar to smallpox, which was eradicated through global vaccination efforts in 1980.

The two viruses are from the orthopoxvirus family. 

 Monkeypox is not as transmissible or fatal as smallpox.

However, some researchers worry that monkeypox could mutate and become a greater threat to humans.

Signs and symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of smallpox: fever headaches muscle aches a lack of energy

As the virus can spread through skin-to-skin contact, the CDC advises people to exercise caution in situations where one can't maintain some sense of personal space and bumping into others is impractical.

Monkeypox In places where clothing is minimal and you could experience that contact, such as crowded raves and clubs, the risk goes up.: How to protect yourself 

Monkeypox explained: How to protect yourself