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Monkeypox Information

UL Lafayette is monitoring developments around monkeypox and taking guidance from local and national health experts. Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection from the monkeypox virus.

Cases for monkeypox have been reported in several countries, including the United States. The Louisiana Department of Health is tracking cases of monkeypox in the state with a dashboard that is updated weekly.

How is monkeypox spread?

Anyone can get monkeypox, regardless of age or sex. A person with monkeypox can spread it 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 two to four weeks.

It is most commonly transmitted through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact with infected people or animals. It can also be spread through contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox. It can also be spread via respiratory secretions or oral fluids from a person with monkeypox during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact; however, it does not linger in the air and is not thought to be transmitted during short periods of shared air space.

According to the CDC, scientists are still researching if the virus can be spread when someone does not display any symptoms.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash that can look like pimples or blisters. Other symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue. Sometimes these symptoms occur before the onset of the characteristic rash.

What should I do if I think I have monkeypox?

If you have a rash that looks like monkeypox, speak with a health care provider even if you have had no known contact with someone who has monkeypox. Students can call and make an appointment with Student Health Services at (337) 482-1293. Employees should contact their personal health care providers. If you do not have a health care provider, you can visit a local parish health unit.

Is there a vaccine for monkeypox?

While there are effective vaccines for monkeypox, the CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination at this time. However, vaccination may be recommended for people who have had contact with someone who has monkeypox.

How can I prevent monkeypox?

Many of the safety practices and cleaning protocols the University is following to prevent the spread of COVID-19 can be used to prevent the transmission of monkeypox in our community. You can take the following steps to prevent the spread of 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, including eating utensils and bedding.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly and 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.

Anyone with concerns that they have been exposed or infected should refrain from intimate or close personal contact with others and seek medical attention. Staying vigilant about signs and symptoms, and isolating if any develop, also reduces transmission.

Where can I learn more?

Learn more about monkeypox on the CDC's FAQ page or watch this video. Additionally, you can call the Louisiana Office of Public Health's 24/7 Infectious Disease Epidemic Hotline at 1-800-256-2748.