Mpox* Information and Resources
*The term “Monkeypox” is misleading and fuels harmful, discriminatory and racist stereotypes. For now, we are using the term “Mpox” in an effort to reduce stigma while we await a renaming of the virus from the World Health Organization. Click here to learn more.
If you have questions or concerns about Mpox, symptoms consistent with Mpox, or may have had close contact with someone with Mpox, please use the “Request an appointment” button through the Health Services Portal to request to speak with a member of the Health Services team or call us at 518-580-5550.
Please refer to the following resources for the most up-to-date information:
- New York State Department of Health: Mpox in New York State
- Mpox information from the CDC
- Mpox information from the WHO
About Mpox According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Mpox is a rare viral infection caused by the Mpox virus, a virus in the same family as the virus that causes smallpox. The symptoms are most often mild.
Mpox symptoms usually start within 6-13 days of exposure, but can take up to 21 days to appear. Most people with Mpox will get a rash or sores that may be located on the hands, feet, chest, face, around the genitals, or inside the body including the mouth, vagina or anus. The rash can look like pimples or blisters and goes through several stages, including scabs, before healing. (See examples of Mpox rash on CDC website.)
Other symptoms of Mpox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (sore throat, nasal congestion, cough)
These symptoms may occur before or after the onset of the characteristic rash or sores or may not occur at all. If a person develops flu-like symptoms with Mpox, they will typically develop a rash 1-4 days later.
The illness is usually mild, although the sores can be painful or itchy. Based on previous outbreaks of Mpox around the world, some groups may be at increased risk for more severe symptoms, including children under 8 years of age, pregnant people, and those with suppressed immune systems.
Mpox can spread through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with a Mpox rash or scabs
- Contact with respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact. Please note that it does not linger in the air and is not thought to be transmitted during short periods of shared air space.
Infected individuals can spread Mpox to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
Who is at risk for Mpox?
Anyone can get Mpox, regardless of gender identity and sexual orientation. During the current outbreak, Mpox has spread primarily through sexual contact. However, Mpox is not a sexually transmitted disease and sexual contact is only one of many ways the virus can spread.
What should I do if I think I have Mpox?
Students who have symptoms of Mpox should contact Health Services by calling 518-580-5550. Employees should contact their personal healthcare provider. Anyone with symptoms should keep any lesions covered, wear a mask and avoid direct contact with others until they can be evaluated by a medical provider.
Evaluation and Testing
Health Services is partnering with the Saratoga County Department of Health to test, isolate and treat students with symptoms of Mpox and/or known exposure. Students will be evaluated in person by a clinician and anyone with skin lesions consistent with Mpox will be tested and moved into isolation to await test results, which currently take about 3-5 days to receive.
Supportive care is the mainstay of therapy. This includes fluids, wound hygiene/care, pain management, and treatment of any secondary infections. Skin lesions should be kept clean and dry. Analgesics, like Tylenol, should be taken as needed for pain. Oral antihistamines and topical agents such as calamine lotion, over the counter hydrocortisone cream, and petroleum jelly can help alleviate itching. More severe infections are managed in collaboration with the local public health department and may involve antiviral medications.
The risk to most people from Mpox remains low, and there are many things you can do to reduce your risk even more. The CDC offers guidance on social gatherings and safer sex practices. Only people with Mpox symptoms can spread the virus to others. Here are some ways to prevent transmission:
- Avoid close, face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash, or other symptoms that could be caused by Mpox (See examples of Mpox rash on CDC website).
- Wash hands frequently with soap and water
- Wear a well-fitting mask in crowded indoor or outdoor settings
Currently there are two vaccines licensed by the FDA in the United States (JYNNEOS and ACAM2000), although they are not yet readily available to the general public. At this time, the CDC only recommends vaccination for people who may be more likely to get Mpox and people who have been recently exposed to Mpox to help prevent severe illness from the virus.
The Saratoga County Department of Health has a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine and has been offering local vaccination clinics for eligible individuals. Health Services will work with the public health department to help eligible students access vaccination as vaccines become available. Please refer to the NYS Department of Health's website for the most up-to-date information about vaccine availability and eligibility.