Monkeypox FAQ

Dear Salem Community-

    On August 4, 2022, the United States declared Monkeypox a public health emergency. This was done in part to assure that those communities most affected by the Monkeypox outbreak could receive vital resources as quickly as possible. While we know, at this time, the current risk of Monkeypox to the public remains low, we also recognize that anyone can be affected by this outbreak. 

    Currently, there are no known cases of Monkeypox on our campus, however, we will continue to monitor cases and work with state and local health authorities to receive the most up-to-date information regarding the outbreak. Below you will find information and resources related to the Monkeypox outbreak in the United States.

1. What is Monkeypox?

  • Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by an orthopoxvirus typically found in West and Central Africa.

2. How is Monkeypox spread?

  • Direct skin-to-skin contact with the Monkeypox rash, sores or scabs.
  • During intimate oral, anal, or vaginal sexual contact with an infected individual.
  • The virus can enter through broken skin, or mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose, mouth and genitals.

3. What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?

  • Rash (potentially painful) to face, hands, soles of feet and genital region 
  • Flu-like symptoms including:
    • Fever
    • Chills
    • Headache
    • Muscle aches
    • Swollen lymph nodes
    • Exhaustion

4. Who is at risk for Monkeypox? 

  • ANYONE is at risk of contracting Monkeypox.
  • Currently, the vast majority of cases have been recorded in self-identified men who have sex with men.

5. How is Monkeypox diagnosed?

  • A healthcare provider will need to evaluate the rash and may obtain a swab from an open lesion to be sent for diagnosis.

6. How long is someone with Monkeypox contagious? 

  • Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms begin to until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
  • An individual with Monkeypox can be contagious for several weeks.

7. What can be done to help prevent Monkeypox?

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like Monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with Monkeypox has used.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.

8. How is Monkeypox treated?

  • There is no specific treatment for the Monkeypox virus, however, you should discuss treatment options with your healthcare provider.
  • Antivirals developed for smallpox may prove to be beneficial.
  • Infected individuals are asked to isolate at home until all skin lesions are completely healed; this can take several weeks.

9. Is there a vaccine for Monkeypox?

  • The ACAM2000 or JYNNEOS vaccine can prevent illness or less severe symptoms if given within two weeks of an individual being exposed to Monkeypox.

10. Who should receive the vaccine for Monkeypox?

  • Individuals who have had close physical contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Monkeypox within the last 14 days. 
  • Men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who report any of the following:
    • Having multiple or anonymous partners 
    • Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
    • Receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)

11. Where can I receive the vaccine for Monkeypox?

  • Individuals who meet the criteria should call their local health department to make an appointment to receive the vaccine. 
  • The Forsyth County Health Department (336-703-3100) is located in Winston-Salem and within close proximity to campus.

12. What do I do if I think I have been exposed to or infected with Monkeypox?

  • If you believe you have been exposed to Monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider.
  • If you have a new or unexplained rash, immediately contact your healthcare provider and avoid intimate or close contact with others until you have been examined.

13. Is Monkeypox considered an STI or sexually-transmitted infection? 

  • Monkeypox is not classified as a sexually-transmitted infection.

14. Are there confirmed cases of Monkeypox in North Carolina?

15. Where can I receive the most up-to-date information about Monkeypox? 

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