What is Monkeypox?
- Monkeypox is caused by a virus that is in the same family as the smallpox virus that typically results in a less severe infection.
- The virus is spread through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox.
- At this time, data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in the current monkeypox outbreak.
- However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.
- Currently, people infected have developed rashes first, without having flu-like symptoms.
- The rash may involve areas located on or near the genitals, anus or rectum, as well as other parts of the body.
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through:
Direct contact with monkeypox rash or scabs on a person’s skin or the body fluids of an infected person.
Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
Contact with respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.
Monkeypox can be spread during intimate contact, including:
Oral, anal, and vaginal sex, or touching the genitals or anus of a person with monkeypox.
Hugging, massage, kissing, or talking closely.
Touching fabrics, shared surfaces, and objects that were used by a person with monkeypox, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear and sex toys.
The close contact does not have to be exclusively intimate or sexual. Any close, sustained skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox can spread the virus.
Early flu-like symptoms of monkeypox can include:
Muscle aches and backache
Swollen lymph nodes
The rash sometimes is located on or near the genitals or anus, but may be in other areas like the hands, feet, chest, neck or face.
At first, the sores can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
The sores typically go through several stages, including the firm or rubbery, sometimes umbilicated sores (looks like a dot on top of the lesion), then forming scabs, before healing.
Sores may be inside the body, including the mouth, throat, vagina, or anus.
The illness may last for up to 2–4 weeks and usually resolves without specific treatment.
Avoid close contact with people with symptoms consistent with monkeypox infection and items (such as clothing, towels or bedding/linens) with which they have been in contact.
Avoid contact with animals that could harbor the virus, including animals that are sick or that have been found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs.
Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, that has been in contact with an animal that has been infected with monkeypox.
Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with animals or people known or suspected to have monkeypox infection or items they handled or used while ill.
We don’t know whether condoms prevent the transmission of monkeypox. If rashes are confined to the genitals or anus, condoms may help. However, since infectious respiratory secretions may be present, condoms alone are probably not enough to prevent monkeypox.
Condoms are effective at preventing the transmission of some infections, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea, and HIV.
Hartwick Students – Your Primary Care Provider or The Perrella Health Center*
Hartwick Employees – Your Primary Care Provider
After Hours and Weekends – Students should go to Urgent Care
Contact information can be found on the Health Center webpage.
*Specimens collected at the Perrella Health Center will be sent to the local hospital lab for processing. The cost of the testing will be billed by the hospital lab to the student’s health insurance and the student will be responsible for any deductibles or copayments.
How to manage monkeypox symptoms if diagnosed:
Utilize over the counter Tylenol or Ibuprofen as needed for pain, fevers and aches.
Keep rash areas clean and dry to protect against secondary infections.
Be conscious of sun exposure to avoid discoloring exposed lesions.
Talk to a health care provider about over-the-counter medications, which might be helpful, such as oral antihistamines and topical agents such as calamine lotion, hydrocortisone, petroleum jelly, and lidocaine cream or gels.
If there is constipation, over-the-counter stool softeners (docusate sodium) or laxatives (e.g., MiraLAX) might be helpful to reduce peri-anal discomfort.
Anyone experiencing a painful rash or skin lesion should contact a health care provider about medication to help with pain management.
Prescription medicated mouthwashes and topical gels can provide pain relief and keep rashes and lesions clean and are widely available.
The Monkeypox Vaccine is now available locally through the Gender Wellness Center at Fox Care.
Please call the Gender Wellness Center vaccination screening number 607-547-6800.
Your demographic data will be obtained and you will be screened for eligibility. If eligible, the Gender Wellness Center will reach out to the individual to set up a vaccination appointment.
To find out other locations where you can get the vaccine please use the following links:
During the incubation period, 1-2 weeks after exposure, a person is not believed to be contagious.
At the onset of signs or symptoms (usually flu-like symptoms), one might be contagious and should remain in their room/home.
Once there is a rash present, a person is contagious until all the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed underneath.
At this time, it is safe to remain in the same room with a roommate who tests positive for monkeypox
The other roommate/roommates should avoid close contact with the positive person, watch for symptoms, don’t share clothes or linens, and get tested if a rash develops.
If you have additional concerns, talk with your RA or Area Coordinator.
Those who experience signs or symptoms consistent with monkeypox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, should contact a health care provider for a risk assessment.
Hartwick Students – Your Primary Care Provider or The Perrella Health Center
Hartwick Employees – Your Primary Care Provider
This includes anyone who traveled to countries where monkeypox cases have been reported or has had contact with someone who has a similar rash, or who received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed monkeypox.
If a rash is present, individuals should cover the rash and avoid close contact with anyone.
If there is fever, chills, or respiratory symptoms, they should remain in their residence hall or home. Do not go to class or work.
Follow the directions of your health care provider regarding your return to usual activities.
Individuals who have been exposed to monkeypox do not need to quarantine or be excluded from school or work.
If an individual has a temperature of 100.4 and above, then they should not report to school or work duty.
It is important to self-monitor for signs and symptoms, which includes measurement of temperature at least twice daily for 21 days following the exposure.
PERRELLA WELLNESS CENTER