Monkeypox FAQs

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus (Monkeypox virus) not commonly seen in the United States. Monkeypox can cause a rash which may look like pimples or blisters, sometimes with a flu-like illness.

You may experience all or only a few of the symptoms of Monkeypox.

  • Most people with Monkeypox will get a rash which can start before or after the viral syndrome (flu-like symptoms).
  • The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion.
  • The rash typically develops 3-4 days after the flu-like symptoms.

The lesions are slightly raised with a fluid filled dome or pustule. The lesions often had a central depression which is termed umbilicated. The lesions tend to form on the central part of the body and then appear later the extremities. Eventually the lesions scab over and remain infectious until the scab falls off.

Examples of Monkeypox Lesions

Examples of Monkeypox Rash

Please contact your healthcare provider or Campus Health Services at 852-6479 as soon as possible and ask to speak with a nurse or provider who can assist in getting you evaluated.

Monkeypox can be spread any time from the initial symptoms until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed underneath the skin. This can take from 2-4 weeks.

You only need to isolate if you have symptoms of Monkeypox such as fever, chills and muscle aches or you develop a rash. The illness can take 2-4 weeks to resolve.

No. You do not need to quarantine if you have been exposed to Monkeypox unless you develop the associated rash or become ill.

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including:

  • Direct contact from a person with Monkeypox who has the rash, scabs, or body fluids.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with Monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions while lying next to someone

YES. Monkeypox can be transmitted from the clothing and bedding of an infected individual. Appropriate use of personal protective equipment including gloves is recommended if you must handle potentially infected materials. Standard laundering with detergent inactivates the virus and no additional precautions need to be taken. Soft surfaces such as carpeting or furniture and hard surfaces that cannot be laundered should be sprayed with an EPA approved disinfectant and allowed to dry before using.

Yes. Any close bodily contact with someone who is infected with Monkeypox can cause the infection to spread. This contact can happen during intimate contact including:

  • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) 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.

Festivals, events, and concerts where attendees are fully clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer. However, attendees should be mindful of activities (like kissing) that might spread Monkeypox.

Any activity where there is there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal, often skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rash you see on others and consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact.

Yes and No.

There is NOT a specific vaccine against Monkeypox but because it is in the same family as Smallpox; the Smallpox vaccine is effective against Monkeypox. There are currently two Smallpox vaccines available in the US. One in an injectable vaccine and the other is an intradermal (superficial skin) vaccine.

Currently the Smallpox vaccine is only available through local health departments to those with known Monkeypox exposure or at high risk for exposure.

Depends on risk factors and health department recommendations.

Local health departments are the only health providers who have access to the vaccines. They will only offer vaccine if they believe it is necessary. At this time, the health department is only vaccinating those with known exposure or at high risk based on their evaluation in limited areas.

If it has been more than 3 years since you were vaccinated with the Smallpox vaccine, you should receive a booster dose of vaccine if you have been exposed to Monkeypox or are at high risk of exposure to the virus. Whether you qualify to receive the vaccine is determined by the local health department and not the university.

While those over 50 are likely to have received the Smallpox vaccine, it is recommended that if it has been more than 3 years since you were vaccinated, you get vaccinated again. The United States stopped vaccinating against Smallpox in 1972 after it was eradicated in the United States. Individuals vaccinated prior to 1972 will have a small scar on the outside of their left shoulder indicating that they have been vaccinated.

Disinfection Instructions

Use an EPA-registered disinfectant, in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. Follow all manufacturer directions for use, including concentration, contact time, and care and handling. For a list of EPA approved disinfectants please follow this link:

  • If you are not infected and need to decontaminate your home because of a roommate or family member having Monkeypox be sure to wear gloves when handling clothing or bedding prior to laundering.
  • Check that your product is EPA-registered: Find the EPA registration number on the product.
  • Read the directions: Follow the product’s directions. Check “use sites” and “surface types” to make sure this is the right product for your surface. Next, read the “precautionary statements.”
  • Pre-clean the surface: Make sure to wash the surface with soap and water if the directions mention pre-cleaning or if the surface is visibly dirty. Dirt can keep the disinfectant from working.
  • Follow the contact time: Follow the instructions: The surface should remain wet for the amount of time indicated to ensure the product is effective. Reapply if necessary.

You may download our disinfection guide here.

If you believe you have Monkeypox, please contact Campus Health Services, your local health department, or your healthcare provider for assistance so you can be evaluated and tested if appropriate. Currently, the only available testing for Monkeypox is through local and state health departments CDC or major commercial laboratories. Recently, Quest Diagnostics began offering Monkeypox testing nationwide.

If you test positive for Monkeypox, you must do the following:

  • Stay home or in your current location in University Housing
  • Notify Campus Health at 502-852-6479 answered 24 hours a day
  • If you are in University Housing, notify the Housing Office at 502-852-6636
  • If you are an employee, please notify your supervisor

People with Monkeypox must isolate until rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed. Please download this isolation guide for more information.

There have been reports of infected animals being imported into the US that have caused Monkeypox outbreaks. Alternatively, infected individuals could potentially transmit the infection to household pets such as dogs or cats. Once diagnosed with Monkeypox, the individual should avoid contact with their pets until all the scabs have fallen off.

Yes. Anyone can contract the virus, including children and pets (mammals).

No. You cannot return to class until all of the scabs have fallen off exposing healthy skin. You must be cleared by Campus Health Services before you can return to campus or be released from isolation.

Please reach out to Contact Tracing at or Campus Health Services at 852-6479 for guidance.

Please reach out to Contact Tracing at or Campus Health Services at 852.6479 for assistance.

At present, vaccination is being offered to presumed contacts who may meet the following criteria:

  • Know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox
  • Had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox

It is expected that a limited number of vaccine doses will be available for individuals who are high risk for contracting monkeypox virus in the coming several weeks and months. The vaccine is only available through local health departments.