If you think you might have monkeypox and need to be evaluated, please call Watkins to arrange a visit with one of our medical providers. We can assist you with testing if appropriate, any referral that might be needed, and in some cases, we might be able to treat some symptoms associated with the illness.
Monkeypox is a historically rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It is often transmitted through close, sustained physical contact, including sexual contact. Anyone can get monkeypox, regardless of age, gender identity or sexual orientation.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
Most people with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing
- The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itch
Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
Symptoms typically appear within 7-14 days after exposure but can range from 5-21 days.
How Monkeypox Spreads
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 2-4 weeks.
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox
- Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, towels) and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox
- Contact with respiratory secretions
This direct contact can happen during intimate contact, including:
- Oral, anal and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) of a person with monkeypox
- Hugging, massage and kissing
- Prolonged face-to-face contact
- Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as bedding, towels, fetish gear and sex toys
- A pregnant person can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
If you develop any of the symptoms of monkeypox or believe you may have been exposed to the monkeypox virus, please consult a healthcare provider. Watkins has the ability to test for monkeypox. Please call to arrange a visit with one of our medical providers.
- STUDENTS - To schedule an appointment, call Watkins appointment line at 785-864-9507.
- FACULTY/STAFF - To schedule an appointment, call the Faculty & Staff Clinic at 785-864-9565.
Avoid the following activities with individuals with monkeypox, suspected monkeypox or a new or unexplained rash:
- Close, skin-to-skin contact
- Touching rashes or scabs
- Kissing, hugging, cuddling or having sex
- Contacting objects and materials that such an individual has used
- Sharing eating utensils or cups
- Handling or touching the bedding, towels or clothing such an individual has used
Be sure to wash your hands 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.
Follow safer sex guidance from the CDC.
Last updated August 29, 2022