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Elon University / Campus Health and Alerts / Monkeypox

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What is monkeypox?

Transmission of monkeypox is by direct skin-to-skin contact with an infected person or by droplet spread from sharing linens, clothing, drinks, etc. Risk of catching the virus from occupying dormitories, classrooms, and other places Space in colleges appears to be minimal because casual contact poses a low risk.

How is monkeypox different from COVID-19?

Monkeypox is a less serious threat than COVID-19 due to key differences.

  • Monkeypox is spread primarily by skin-to-skin contact and is less contagious than COVID-19.
  • Monkeypox outbreaks are easier to contain than COVID-19. Because spread of infection requires contact with infectious particles, not casual contact, monkeypox patients are usually not infected until they develop symptoms.
  • Existing vaccines are already available, already tested, and offer some protection against monkeypox.
  • Monkeypox is usually a mild, self-limiting condition. It is rarely fatal.

What are the symptoms and duration of monkeypox?

According to the CDC, people with monkeypox can develop a rash on or near the genitals or anus, and may develop rashes on other areas, such as the hands, feet, chest, face, and mouth. A rash goes through several stages, including crusting, before it heals. The rash initially looks like pimples or blisters and can be painful and itchy.

Other common symptoms are:

  • heat
  • headache
  • muscle pain and back pain
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • cold
  • fatigue
  • Respiratory symptoms (sore throat, stuffy nose, cough, etc.)

Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If he has flu-like symptoms, he usually has a rash after one to four days.

Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms begin until the rash has healed, all the scabs have sloughed off, and a new layer of skin forms.

What steps can be taken to prevent transmission of monkeypox?

CDC provides the following steps that individuals can take to avoid contracting monkeypox:

Avoid close skin contact with anyone who has a monkeypox-like rash.

  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of monkeypox patients.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone who has monkeypox or skin lesions.

Avoid contact with objects or materials used by monkeypox patients.

  • Do not share utensils or cups with monkeypox patients.
  • Do not handle or touch a monkeypox patient’s bedding, towels, or clothing.

Wash your hands frequently.

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Although monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease, sexual contact has historically been the primary source of transmission in the United States. The CDC’s guidelines for safer sex and social settings are an important resource for reducing the risk of individuals contracting the virus. Even with this information, keep in mind that transmission can occur through other forms of non-sexual contact listed above, and the virus is not limited to the most affected populations to date.

Is there a monkeypox vaccine?

Yes, there is a vaccine, and when administered before and after recent exposure, it can be an effective tool to protect people from monkeypox disease. Inoculation is recommended. Up-to-date information on North Carolina’s vaccine eligibility criteria can be found on his website for the Department of Health and Human Services.

Vaccines are currently available from several county health departments. Guildford and Durham counties are currently the closest locations to Elon University, but we will update this information once the Alamance County Health Department begins offering vaccines in the counties.

What should I do if I have symptoms or am concerned about possible monkeypox exposure?

Testing for monkeypox is widespread. Students, faculty and staff should avoid contact with other people as soon as possible and seek medical attention if they come into close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox or if symptoms begin to appear. Students can book directly with Student Health Services or make a virtual medical appointment through TimelyCare. Staff and faculty can make appointments at the Faculty/Staff Health & Wellness Clinic.

What is the current situation of monkeypox in North Carolina and the United States?

The current status of cases in North Carolina can be found on the Department of Health and Human Services’ monkeypox website.

CDC has a situational overview website with an overview of the US outbreak, a map of US cases, and information on case trends.

Is Elon developing a monkeypox plan or protocol?

University leaders have consulted with health sector leaders in developing response plans, and benefiting from strong relationships built over the past few years, will continue to work with Alamance County Health Department (ACHD) leaders. We will continue to have regular discussions with If a case is confirmed, Elon and her ACHD will work with state health officials to quickly mobilize and respond.

Many of the tools we used to manage the mumps and COVID-19 outbreaks on campus (testing, isolation/isolation, and masking) are strategies that can be deployed to manage monkeypox cases if needed. But it’s also important to remember that monkeypox transmission is very different from his COVID-19.

The university will continue cleaning and disinfection protocols developed to combat COVID-19 and support broad community health issues. This includes protocols for laundering items.

The university also provides information and education to the community, supports the physical and mental health of its students, faculty and staff, denounces exposure, and works to reduce barriers to testing, treatment, and vaccination.

The communicable disease response team will continue to meet weekly to monitor COVID-19, monkeypox, and other community health issues, develop coordinated response protocols, and make recommendations to senior university leadership. Information and updates will continue to be available throughout the semester.