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Monkeypox Info

We are closely monitoring the global outbreak of monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus) which has gained significant public health and media attention due to the unusual spread of cases globally. The virus remains rare; as of August 15, there have been 349 confirmed cases in Maryland which is less than 0.001% of the state population.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness but occasionally can result in hospitalization. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters.

Most people infected with monkeypox will get a rash.

How does it spread?

Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex.
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Monkeypox can spread 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. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Who can get monkeypox?

Anyone can get monkeypox. Some groups at heightened risk for severe outcomes include people with suppressed immune systems, elderly people, children under 8 years old, and people who are pregnant.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Ask your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, such as fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills or exhaustion.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox symptoms and those diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • Don’t share bedding, towels, clothing, utensils, or cups with a person with symptoms of monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • A vaccine is available but supplies are limited.

I’m experiencing symptoms—what now?

If you start experiencing monkeypox symptoms, even if they are mild, talk to your healthcare provider immediately or visit Health Services at Frederick Health Urgent Care Emmitsburg.

I’ve been diagnosed with monkeypox—what now?

Students should notify the dean of students immediately to arrange for isolation at home or in an isolation room on campus. Employees should isolate at home and notify HR.

Learn more about monkeypox

For the most up-to-date information, visit the state health department or CDC websites:

Last updated August 23, 2022.