Mpox FAQs

On August 4, 2022, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared Mpox, also known as monkeypox, a public health emergency. This action may have caused concern and anxiety in members of our campus community; however, the risk of contracting Mpox remains low. Below you will find the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions UHS has received about Mpox.

About the virus

Mpox can be spread from person to person through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with Mpox rashes, sores, or scabs.
  • Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with Mpox.
  • Through respiratory droplets or oral fluids from a person with Mpox during prolonged face-to-face contact.
  • This contact can happen during intimate sexual contact, including:
    • Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals or anus of a person with Mpox.
    • Hugging, massaging, kissing, and talking closely.
    • Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with Mpox, such as bedding, towels, and sex toys.
    • Humans can also get Mpox from an infected animal through a bite or direct contact with the infected animal's blood, body fluids, or sores.

According to the CDC, scientists are still researching if the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms.

CDC - How it Spreads

According to the CDC, scientists are still researching whether Mpox can be spread through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.

CDC - How it Spreads

No. Mpox is not nearly as contagious as COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19, which easily spreads through respiratory or airborne droplets, Mpox primarily spreads through prolonged, physical contact or sharing of bedding or clothing with someone infected with Mpox.

The risk of transmission from a pen or pencil that did not contact a rash, sore, or scab is minimal. However, if a lesion comes into contact with the pen or pencil, disinfect it and/or throw it away.

A general awareness training is available through My Linc. Use this link or search "monkeypox" on the main screen.


Case investigation will be done by the Washtenaw County Health Department to determine if there are individuals that have had direct contact or household contact with the case. Notifications will be made to those individuals with specific guidance for their monitoring and care. The health department will make a determination of need for any community notifications based on risk assessment.

Contact UHS to discuss post-exposure immunization. Wear a mask (surgical or N95/KN95) and monitor your health for 21 days. Contact your healthcare provider if you develop any symptoms consistent with Mpox.

Impact on activities

If you are sick and could have Mpox, delay travel by public transportation until you have been cleared by a healthcare professional or public health officials.

CDC - Travelers' Health


Your clinician and the health department can make this determination.

Complete isolation will be required if you are still experiencing symptoms other than rash. When your symptoms lessen, some activities may be possible depending on a risk assessment of your severity and location of the rash or sores that have not yet healed. A case investigator will assess your case and in most situations, individuals should be able to go to class, out in public, study at the library, and work. However, certain activities will need to be further reviewed, such as the type of work an individual does and types of courses to understand the potential risk to others. Using a public gym and residing in congregate living settings will not be allowed until rashes, sores, and scabs have completely healed.


To help prevent Mpox, it is recommended that you:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like Mpox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with Mpox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with Mpox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with Mpox has used.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with Mpox.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with Mpox.
  • Wash your hands often.
    • 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.
  • It is important to make informed decisions about intimacy.
    • If you are sexually active, the CDC has provided information about safer sex and lowering your risk of exposure to Mpox.

Take a personal inventory of the risk level of the parties and events that you plan to attend.

  • Lower risk – a party or event where attendees are fully clothed, no intimate contact, and no shared drinks.
  • Moderate risk – a party or event where there will be minimal clothing worn, shared drinks, and/or direct, skin-to-skin contact is likely.
  • Higher risk – a party or event where anonymous sexual contact or sexual contact with multiple partners is likely.

Symptoms and healthcare

If you have symptoms of Mpox, you should talk to the health department or your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has Mpox. Students should call UHS or the health department, wear a mask, and isolate themselves from roommates.

There are no treatments specifically for Mpox virus infections. However, Mpox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat Mpox virus infections.

Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

Most people with Mpox recover fully within 2 to 4 weeks without the need for medical treatment.

Yes. In addition to treating the symptoms of Mpox, the UHS pharmacy has a limited supply of Tecovirimat (TPOXX) which can be prescribed on a case-by-case basis.

UHS has a limited supply of the JYNNEOS vaccine which is administered (supplies permitting) based on eligibility criteria determined by the Washtenaw County Health Department. If you are eligible to receive the Mpox vaccine, contact UHS.

Some people with Mpox can experience significant pain. Your healthcare provider can help manage pain with a range of over-the-counter and prescription medications. Sometimes, treatment with TPOXX can shorten the duration of symptoms.

Avoid contact lens use to prevent inadvertent infection of the eye. You should also avoid touching the eye in general.

CDC - Infection Control at Home

You still need to isolate until your symptoms are resolved and you have been cleared by your healthcare provider and the local health department.


Yes, UHS offers testing (by appointment only). The testing involves swabbing a rash or sores and then sending the sample to the lab for testing.

If you have a rash or sores, these can be tested by your healthcare provider.