What is the monkeypox virus?
Monkeypox virus is an orthopoxvirus that is a part of the same family that causes smallpox. An infected individual may commonly transmit the monkeypox virus by close contact with another person. There are two types of the monkeypox virus, the Congo Basin and the West African. The West African type is causing infections in the U.S.
Is the monkeypox virus the same as the herpes virus or chicken pox?
No. The monkeypox virus is a different viral infection. Individuals are not protected from the monkeypox virus if they have received immunizations for chicken pox or herpes.
What are the symptoms of the monkeypox virus?
Those infected with the monkeypox virus typically develop a pustular rash. The rash can be located in several areas across the body and typically resolves within four weeks. Before the rash appears, individuals may develop symptoms within 7–14 days. Monkeypox virus symptoms include:
- Body aches.
- Muscle aches.
- Swollen lymph nodes.
How does the monkeypox virus spread?
Close, personal and skin-to-skin contact can spread the monkeypox virus. It can also be transmitted through sexual contact or bodily fluids and by sharing or touching objects an infected individual has used. Practicing good hand hygiene helps to prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus and other infections.
What is my risk of contracting the monkeypox virus at work?
Most employees at ASU are at low risk for acquiring the monkeypox virus in their working environment. Routine activities in classrooms, conference rooms and offices are considered low risk. Higher risk locations include athletic facilities, gyms, health care settings and areas where individuals are in close contact with potentially infected persons for extended periods.
Routine handling of laundry and garbage using gloves is a low-risk activity. There are specific guidelines for handling materials from spaces with individuals who have tested positive for the monkeypox virus.
In general, the use of gloves and practicing good hand hygiene is adequate.
If you believe you are at high risk of contracting the monkeypox virus at work, please email EHS or call 480-965-1823 to discuss risk mitigation strategies.
Are restrooms at work at high risk for contracting the monkeypox virus?
No. Given the low rate of infections, shared spaces, including restrooms, are low risk.
Where can I get tested for the monkeypox virus?
Currently, testing for the monkeypox virus is only available through a health care provider. For students, ASU Health Services offers testing for the monkeypox virus. ASU employees should contact their primary health care provider to get tested for the monkeypox virus. Students and employees may also test for the monkeypox virus through the local health department.
What is the treatment for the monkeypox virus?
Many infections clear within 2–4 weeks without requiring medications. Physicians may use antiviral drugs to treat a person infected with the monkeypox virus. Infected individuals should discuss treatment options with a health care provider.
Can I get a vaccine for the monkeypox virus?
Currently, monkeypox virus vaccines are only available through state or county health departments. Anyone in Maricopa County interested in receiving a vaccine for the monkeypox virus should complete the vaccine interest form.
What steps is ASU taking to prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus?
ASU uses disinfectants that are effective against the monkeypox virus. Routine cleaning and disinfection of common areas are performed on campus. Areas with a higher potential for transmission will be cleaned and disinfected per CDC recommendations.
Are counseling or mental-health services available?
Students are able to seek mental-health services from Educational Outreach Student Services and employees are encouraged to reach out to Employee Assistance and Wellness for assistance.
What steps should I take if I contract the monkeypox virus?
If you are sick with monkeypox, please follow CDC guidance.
Where can I get additional information on monkeypox?
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Maricopa County Department of Public Health, LA Department of Health and the DC Health Department have monkeypox virus dashboards that include the number of cases and are updated daily.