Monkeypox Information

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are like smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

What are the symptoms?

  • Rash-appearance of rash may vary from person to person
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

Possible presentations of symptoms are:

  • Only the rash
  • Other symptoms occur and the rash erupts 5 days later (May appear to be the flu at first)
  • Rash may occur first followed by some or all of the other symptoms

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox can be spread by the following methods, from the start of symptoms until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This typically takes 2 to 4 weeks.

  • 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.
  • Pregnant women can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
  • Infected animals-it is unknown if pets can carry the virus.

It is unknown if someone with no symptoms can spread the virus.
It is unknown how often it is spread through respiratory secretions.

How do I protect myself?

  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who is diagnosed with monkeypox or has a rash or other monkeypox symptoms.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
    • Ask your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms of monkeypox. For more information on monkeypox and safe sex visit the CDC page on Monkeypox Facts for People Who are Sexually Active.
    • Be aware that monkeypox can also spread through respiratory secretions with close, face-to-face contact.
  • Do not share bedding, towels, clothing, utensils, or cups with a person with symptoms of 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.

What do I do if I have symptoms?

  • Students should contact the Student Health Center at 409.880.8466 for an appointment. Faculty and staff should contact their primary care physician or urgent care.
  • Wear a mask.
  • If experiencing a rash, cover all skin where the rash exists with clothing or bandages. If the rash is on the hands, wear gloves.

What if I have a positive test?

Ideally, you should remain in isolation from the appearance of the first symptom until the rash in fully healed. This usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks. If you are unable to remain fully isolated you should do the following:

  • Remain isolated at home and away from others while fever and respiratory symptoms persist unless you need to visit a healthcare provider or there is an emergency.
    • This includes avoiding close contact or physical contact with people and animals.
    • Cover the lesions and wear a well-fitting mask, and avoid public transportation when leaving home for medical care or an emergency.
  • When there is only the rash (no fever or respiratory symptoms)
    • Cover all parts of the rash with clothing, gloves, and/or bandages.
    • Wear a well-fitting mask to prevent spreading oral or respiratory secretions when interacting with others until the rash and all other symptoms have resolved.
    • Masks should fit closely on your face without any gaps along the edges or around the nose and be comfortable when worn properly over the nose and mouth.
  • Until all signs and symptoms of monkeypox illness have fully resolved:
    • Avoid close physical contact, including sexual and/or close intimate contact, with other people
    • Avoid crowds and congregate settings
    • Do not share items that have been worn or handled with other people or animals
    • Launder or disinfect items that have been worn or handled and surfaces that have been touched by a lesion
    • Avoid sharing utensils and cups. Items should be cleaned and disinfected before use by others
    • Follow CDC guidelines for disinfection and cleaning of monkeypox contaminated areas and items
    • Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after direct contact with the rash.

Is there a vaccine?

Yes, but supplies are extremely limited. Due to the limited supply, the CDC is recommending vaccination for people with known exposure and people more likely to get monkeypox. The vaccine being recommended is JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) which requires two doses, administered one month apart. Maximum immunity is reached two weeks after the second injection. Because of the limited supply only government managed facility, such as state or city health departments, have the vaccine.

Is there anything else I need to know?

More information can be found on the CDC Monkeypox webpage and and the Monkeypox webpage of the Texas Health and Human Services.

EMERGENCY

On campus: (409) 880-7777
or use emergency phones (poles with blue lights)

Off campus: 911

After Hour Care Resources

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CONTACT THE SHC

Phone: (409) 880-8466
Fax: (409) 880-7703
Email:  dept_healthcenter@lamar.edu

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