What is Monkeypox?
hMPXV (the human version of the monkeypox virus) is a virus related to smallpox. hMPXV is not as severe as smallpox and is not related to COVID-19.
Most individuals recover in 2 to 4 weeks without treatment/vaccines. The spots from the rash can leave scars. Children, immunocompromised individuals and those who are pregnant are at a greater risk of severe illness from hMPXV.
The resource links below provide up-to-date and detailed information for all topics addressed here.
How Monkeypox Spreads
Monkeypox does not spread easily. The overall risk to the U.S. population is low. It is most often spread by skin-to-skin contact with the rash/sores of an infected person.
It can also spread through:
- Respiratory droplets, during extended face-to-face contact (more than 3 hours)
- Contact with bodily fluids
- Contact with fluid from the pox
- Contaminated bedding or clothing
The virus does not spread as easily as COVID-19 and scientists believe people can only spread the virus while they have symptoms.
Illness typically starts with fever, headache and muscle aches. This is followed in one to three days by a rash, often on the face, spreading to the limbs. The rash starts with flat patches that then form large, firm bumps, which then fill with fluid or pus. These then scab and fall off, usually over two to four weeks.
There is a vaccine available for monkeypox called JYNNEOS. if you are concerned you have been exposed to hMPXV, please contact your primary care provider or the Student and Employee Health Center to find out if you qualify for the vaccine.
- Avoid sex or other intimate contact if you or your partner have new skin lesions, fever, swollen lymph nodes or otherwise suspect exposure to monkeypox. Condoms do not prevent the spread of the virus.
- Avoid contact with materials such as bedding that have been used by someone infected with monkeypox.
- Wash hands thoroughly if you have contact with someone with monkeypox.
- If you get symptoms, isolate yourself at home until you can connect with a health care provider.
Student and Employee Health Center
Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
Washington County Public Health
MonkeyPox Information and Guidance
(provided by Multnomah County Public Health)