August 2022

Monkeypox is a close relative to the smallpox virus which was declared eliminated in 1980. An outbreak was identified by the WHO in May 2022 as monkeypox was identified in many countries to which it is not endemic. Fortunately, monkeypox is usually a self-limited illness. However, it can become more severe in people who are immunosuppressed but remains rarely fatal.

What you need to know

All people can contract monkeypox. So far, monkeypox infections have disproportionately impacted certain communities (gay, bisexual, and queer men as well as other men who have sex with men), which is why the CDC currently indicates that these communities are at a heightened risk. Because of limited resources, these communities have been prioritized for receipt of vaccines, and qualification criteria have been set by the Georgia Department of Public Health. We are encouraging our entire community to review and follow public health guidance to protect themselves and access care in the event of possible or likely exposure.

Symptoms of monkeypox include: 

The first period is the Prodromal Period (days 0-5, the time period between initial symptoms and development of a full-on rash or fever). It is characterized by fever (usually before rash), headache, muscle aches, sore throat, nasal congestion, cough, swollen lymph nodes (neck, armpits or groin), chills, fatigue, or body aches.

The second period (1-3 days after fever) is characterized by the rash, which looks like pimples or blisters that appear first on the face, inside of the mouth, or other body parts (hands, feet, chest, genitals, anus). Lesions more commonly appear on the face and extremities and can be painful until the healing phase. The lesions often start as flat red spots and progress to firm, fluid-filled lesions that eventually scab.

monkeypox-lesion.png

Should I seek care at Student Health?

If you are symptomatic (prodrome or rash) and have been exposed to someone with known monkeypox or a rash, OR you are exhibiting symptoms as described above with personally higher risk due to travel to/from a country with known transmission of monkeypox or network prevalence, you should make an urgent care appointment with Student Health via the Student Health portal

If you have urgent questions or there are not any appointments available, call 404-727-7551 and speak with the triage nurse.

 

Frequently Asked Questions


All people can contract monkeypox. So far, monkeypox infections have disproportionately impacted certain communities (gay, bisexual, and queer men as well as other men who have sex with men), which is why the CDC currently indicates that these communities are at a heightened risk. We are encouraging our entire community to review and follow public health guidance to protect themselves and access care in the event of possible or likely exposure.

The CDC defines those at greatest risk as people who:

  • Report having contact with a person or people with a similar appearing rash or who received a diagnosis of confirmed or probable monkeypox OR
  • People who had multiple sex partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox OR
  • Had close or intimate in-person contact with individuals in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity which includes men who have sex with men (MSM) or transgender women who have sex with men OR
  • Traveled outside the US to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox virus is endemic OR
  • Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that is an African endemic species or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.).

Monkeypox is not easily spread and generally requires close and sustained contact, direct or indirect skin to skin contact with bodily fluids or lesion materials, or contact with fomites (when an object transfers the virus from one person to another like towels and bedding).

Monkeypox can be spread through respiratory droplets or oral fluids during prolonged intimate or face-to-face contact.

           

Fever, malaise, headache, sometimes sore throat and cough, and swollen lymph nodes (occurs with fever onset 1-2 days before the rash).

The incubation period is roughly 1-2 weeks but can range up to 21 days.

It is recommended to consider post exposure vaccine prophylaxis within 4 days from date of exposure. See resources below.

No, there is no quarantine period for individuals who have been exposed. You can continue doing routine activities, except donating blood or bodily fluids.

Individuals should ISOLATE as soon as they start having any symptoms listed above. 

If you are at risk and a rash starts, you should seek immediate care. If you are only experiencing mild or moderate prodromal symptoms without a rash and/or fever, treat symptomatically, isolate as you are experiencing viral symptoms and seek care if symptoms worsen or if there isn’t a rash after 24-48 hours and you don’t have an alternate diagnosis.

 

Usually isolation will last 2-4 weeks or until the symptoms have resolved and the rash has healed over.

Avoid close contact with someone who has monkeypox or a rash which looks like it. Do not share any objects such as towels, bedding, cups, etc. 

Continue to use hand hygiene to prevent the spread of illness and do not touch your face. 

Monkeypox is NOT considered a sexually transmitted illness but due to it’s mechanism of infection (close contact), it can be spread during intimate contact.

To lower the risk during sex, check in with your partner to make sure they don’t have any of the symptoms of monkeypox. For further suggestions on how to keep yourself safe in addition to accessing the monkeypox vaccine, click here.

No, Student Health does not have monkeypox vaccine at this time. Because of limited resources, select communities have been prioritized for receipt of vaccines, and qualification criteria have been set by the Georgia Department of Public Health.

To schedule a monkeypox vaccine visit Georgia Department of Public Health and click on “Find a Vaccine and Register for an Appointment” under "Learn More." You may also call the Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line at 888-457-0186.

Individuals who fall in the following categories should consider receiving a vaccine prophylactically:

  • Clinical laboratory personnel who may be directly handling specimens
  • Research laboratory workers
  • Healthcare and public health response team member
  • Per Dekalb Department of Health:
    • A person who is a personal contact to people with monkeypox
    • Individuals who may have been exposed
    • Gay and bisexual MSM who have had more than 2 partners in the past 14 days

Student Health Services

Emory University Student Health Services (EUSHS) provides outpatient care for enrolled Emory students with a valid Emory ID card. International student's spouses, Domestic Partners and unmarried children over 18 years of age are also eligible for primary medical care if they are currently enrolled in the Emory/Aetna Student Health Insurance Plan.

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