Monkeypox Information and Resources
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare infectious disease caused by the monkeypox virus. This is a virus that belongs to the same group of viruses that includes the smallpox virus and the cowpox virus.
How does monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox may be spread from animal-to-human or human-to-human. People may be infected with monkeypox through direct contact with body fluids or lesions, or contaminated materials such as clothing or linens. It may also be spread through respiratory droplets through prolonged face-to-face contact (>3 hours). In addition, pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
Who is at risk for monkeypox?
Anyone can get monkeypox. However, the following are more likely to catch it:
- People who traveled to an area where monkeypox cases or exposures have been reported
- Those who had contact with a person who has symptoms of monkeypox or received a diagnosis of monkeypox
- With the most recent cases in 2022, those who self-identify as men who have had close intimate contact with men seem to be at higher risk
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Usually, a person that is infected with monkeypox will have:
- Fever, fatigue, and other flu-like symptoms (chills, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes). Sometimes, the fever/flu-like symptoms are skipped or very mild.
- A painful rash that will progress to lesions then to scabs and will spread from mouth and face to the extremities. Sometimes, the rash and lesions are only found in the genital or perianal area. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
How can I prevent getting monkeypox?
Vaccines against smallpox provide protection against monkeypox. However, it is only recommended for those who are at high risk for infection.
Help prevent the spread of monkeypox by:
- Handwashing with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoiding contact with imported animals, especially sick or dead animals
- Avoiding contact with bedding or clothing that might be infected with the virus
- Avoiding direct contact with rash or scabs of person with monkeypox
- Using personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for people infected with the virus
- Avoiding travel to places that have confirmed cases
- Avoiding activities that may increase spread of monkeypox, such as sex, kissing, hugging, or cuddling with multiple or anonymous people
How is monkeypox diagnosed?
Monkeypox is diagnosed by laboratory testing of specimens collected from lesions. People who may have symptoms of monkeypox should contact their healthcare providers.
How can monkeypox be treated?
Most people will recover on their own, but those who have weaker immune systems may have severe disease. Currently, there are no proven, safe treatments available for monkeypox. Antivirals may help with severe disease.
Vaccine for Monkeypox & Eligibility?
Click here for updated vaccine eligibility criteria.
The federal supply of monkeypox vaccine remains limited. The Public Health priority is to administer a first dose of vaccine to as many people who are at higher risk for monkeypox exposure as possible. When the vaccine supply improves, Public Health will make second doses available.
Vaccines are NOT available on campus currently. For more information about getting the Monkeypox Vaccine please visit: Long Beach Health and Human Services