As the Monkeypox virus becomes an increasingly greater concern, Morehouse and the Atlanta University Center Consortium are working to mitigate the spread.
Monkeypox is a virus that can cause flu-like symptoms and a rash. Human-to-human transmission of monkeypox virus occurs by direct contact with lesions, infected body fluids, touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox, or from exposure to respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact. Reports of human-to-human transmission include close contact with a person with monkeypox symptoms. A person is considered infectious until all scabs separate and a fresh layer of skin is formed.
Testing is available at AUCC Student Health & Wellness Center (SHWC) for students with monkeypox symptoms. The providers can promptly diagnose and manage suspected and confirmed cases as well as provide guidance for exposed contacts. Schedule a same-day appointment through the Patient Portal or by calling (404) 756-1241.
Students who test positive for monkeypox can spread the virus 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. During this time, students must isolate off campus and follow the items below before returning. Students must:
1. Submit a letter from a medical provider stating the student has completed the required isolation period and may return to normal campus activities.
2. Schedule a telehealth appointment with the AUCC SHWC medical provider who will manage the student’s medical care once returned to campus
3. Wait until the campus provides written instruction informing the student of when he/she can return
Students exposed to an individual confirmed to have monkeypox must inform their campus medical team immediately and begin monitoring their symptoms twice a day for 21 days after their last exposure using the monkeypox self-reporting exposure form. Student must also schedule an information visit with AUCC SHWC medical provider through the Patient Portal or by calling (404) 756-1241.
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus, and may include:
• Rash or clear pus-filled bumps
• Muscle aches
• Swollen lymph nodes
Currently, the Atlanta University Center Consortium member institutions (AUCC) do not have access to the monkeypox vaccination at this time. Vaccinations in Georgia are limited, and as such, the Georgia Department of Health (GDPH) is prioritizing vaccine distribution in five metro counties – Fulton, DeKalb, Gwinnett, Cobb, and Clayton. Because demand outweighs supply, GDPH is following the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and prioritizing monkeypox vaccine for individuals at high risk. Vaccination may be recommended for people who are close personal contacts of people with monkeypox virus, individuals who may have been exposed to monkeypox, or people who have increased risk of being exposed to the virus.
Prevention and Risk Reduction
Individuals can minimize their risk for exposure by:
• Asking sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms of monkeypox.
• Avoiding skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox symptoms and those diagnosed with monkeypox.
• Not sharing bedding, towels, clothing, utensils, or cups with a person with monkeypox.
• Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer
Students should reach out to SHWC if exposed or experiencing symptoms.
If you would like to speak with someone to discuss your concerns around exposure risks and prevention strategies, please email AUCC epidemiologist here, the Georgia Department of Public Health at 866-PUB-HLTH (866-782-4584) or call SHWC at (404) 756-1241 to speak with a medical provider.
Learn more about monkeypox:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Georgia Department of Public Health
- Fulton County Board of Health
- Atlanta University Center Consortium
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by an infection with the monkeypox virus. The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox, but milder, and rarely fatal. Over 99% of people infected with the form monkeypox identified in U.S 2022 outbreak are likely to recover.
How is Monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close contact (often skin-to-skin) including:
· Direct contact with Monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox
· Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
· Direct contact with respiratory secretions
What are the symptoms of Monkeypox?
Symptoms typically last 2 to 4 weeks:
· Muscle Aches
· Swollen lymph nodes
· Respiratory symptoms (sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
· *Rash that can look like pimples or blisters
*The rash can appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, (hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus) usually occurs within 1-3 days after a fever. The rash evolves from lesions with a flat base to slightly raised firm lesions, to lesions filled with clear fluid, to lesions with yellowish fluid, then crust which dries up and fall off. People with monkeypox are contagious until all lesions have scabbed over and have fallen off the skin.
What is the treatment for Monkeypox?
· Symptoms normally resolve on their own, however medication for pain and fever can be used to relieve symptoms. Antivirals (tecovirimat) may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill (ex. Individuals with weakened immune systems).
How can I prevent Monkeypox?
· Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
· Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
· Wash you hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
· CDC recommends vaccination for individual exposed and at risk to the virus.
What to do if you think you may have Monkeypox symptoms or have been exposed?
· Monitor yourself closely for signs and symptoms, and contact a healthcare provider for information about testing and post-exposure prophylaxis
How do I find additional information about Monkeypox?
· Visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention