What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is an infection spread primarily by skin-to-skin contact.

What are the most common symptoms?

A rash of pimples, blisters, or ulcers is most common. The rash can be anal, genital, or oral, or might occur on other parts of the body. The rash might look like other common rashes, so testing a suspected rash is important.

How is it spread?

The virus is transmitted through direct skin exposure to active monkeypox pimples or blisters and through sharing of infected objects or fabrics. Respiratory spread is possible but not likely.

How can monkeypox be prevented?

By avoiding skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that could be monkeypox, and avoiding their household and other intimate objects.

What should you do if you suspect you’ve been exposed to monkeypox?

Monkeypox is an infection spread primarily by skin-to-skin contact. If you’ve been exposed, watch for symptoms of infection for up to 21 days (symptoms may start around 7 days). If you develop cold symptoms, swollen lymph nodes or a rash after exposure, call your healthcare provider or Student Health and let them know you’ve been exposed to monkeypox.

Vaccine is available in NJ for those who might be at higher risk. Vaccine is also available after exposure to prevent or decrease the severity of infection. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis and is recommended for up to 14 days – the sooner the better.

How do you know if you’re at higher risk?

Weʼre learning more about whoʼs at higher risk. Some factors that play a role in risk are the rates of transmission in our area, having a partner with monkeypox, and multiple sex partners. Current information is available from the NJ Department of Health.

What should you do if you suspect you have symptoms?

Call your healthcare provider or Student Health to make an appointment. Be sure to cover the rash, wear a mask, and donʼt share personal items until the rash is evaluated. Evaluation might include swabbing the rash.

Is there a treatment?

Monkeypox mostly passes by itself once the rash crusts over and new skin grows over it. Your doctor may recommend treatment depending on your symptoms. Antiviral medications are available as well.

Where can you find out more information?

The CDC and NJ Department of Health have more information about monkeypox.