Monkeypox is a viral disease that has been declared a public health emergency, both nationally by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and globally by the World Health Organization.
All members of the university community are encouraged to learn about symptoms, how to protect yourself, and what to do if you are exposed to monkeypox from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities.
Symptoms of monkeypox
- People with monkeypox may experience a rash and/or flu-like symptoms.
- Rash and skin lesions may be present in any localized area on the body (e.g., hands, genitals, face, around or inside the mouth) or may be disseminated across multiple areas of the body.
- Other symptoms often include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fatigue, and body aches; some or all of these may or may not be present.
How monkeypox spreads
- Monkeypox primarily spreads through close contact between people, including sex and other activities that include skin-to-skin contact.
- It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during kissing and other prolonged, face-to-face contact.
- The virus also can be spread through indirect contact (such as towels that have been used by someone with monkeypox).
What to do if you have symptoms
- If you are experiencing a rash, skin lesion, or other associated symptoms, contact your primary health care provider to have them determine if your symptoms are consistent with monkeypox and if you need to be tested.
- Until you have been checked out by a health care provider, wear gloves and a mask and avoid close contact with anyone, including sex or other intimate contact.
- If your test is positive, you will be advised by local public health officials about proper isolation and other safety protocols.
What to do if you are exposed
- If you are aware that you have been in close contact with someone with monkeypox, contact your primary health care provider or local public health agency to be evaluated.
- If you are identified through contact tracing as having been exposed, you will be directly notified by local public health officials.
- If you have been exposed, wear gloves and a mask when you are near others and avoid close contact with anyone, including sex or other intimate contact until you have been checked out by a health care provider.