Students, faculty, staff, and visitors please report positive cases or exposures by calling the Rowan Hall Health Services center at 601-877-6460.
Monkeypox is a rare viral disease spread through close personal contact. It can cause flu-like symptoms and rash or sores caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as the variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox.
How it Spreads
Monkeypox spreads in a few ways.
- 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.
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions.
- This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus of a person with monkeypox.
- Hugging, massage, and kissing.
- Prolonged face-to-face contact.
Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear, and sex toys.
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. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
Signs and Symptoms
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- A rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, and face or mouth.
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
You may experience all or only a few symptoms
- Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
- Most people with monkeypox will get a rash.
- Some people have developed a rash before (or without) other symptoms.
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
If You Have a New or Unexplained Rash or Other Symptoms…
- Avoid close contact, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider.
- If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.
- When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and remind them that this virus is circulating in the area.
How to Protect Yourself
Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
The JUNNEOS and ACAM2000 are two vaccines licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration are available for preventing monkeypox infection.
CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who may be more likely to get monkeypox.
People more likely to get monkeypox include:
- People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox
- People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox
- People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox
- People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as:
- Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses
- Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses
- Some designated healthcare or public health workers