The Biden Administration, through the US Department of Health and Human Services, has declared monkeypox a public health emergency, with cases on the rise across the US.

Since monkeypox can spread through skin-to-skin contact, massage and bodywork practitioners should continue to engage procedures to ensure client safety, proper practitioner hygiene, and disease prevention protocols that have long been a cornerstone of professional massage and bodywork practice.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is urging healthcare providers in the United States to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox.

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

• Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
     o Hugging, massage, and kissing.
     o Prolonged face-to-face contact.
• Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
• Contact with respiratory secretions.
• A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Scientists are still researching if the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms.

This information does not replace any information, directives or guidance provided by federal or state agencies, regulatory boards, or other authorities having jurisdiction.

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The mission of the Federation is to support its Member Boards in their work to ensure that the practice of massage therapy is provided to the public in a safe and effective manner.

The FSMTB affirms the importance of regulated massage and bodywork professionals who are adequately informed to practice safely and competently.