As of November 2022, following a series of consultations with global experts, WHO will begin using a new preferred term “mpox” as a synonym for monkeypox. Both names will be used simultaneously for one year while “monkeypox” is phased out.
If you are a UT student and have been exposed to mpox or have mpox symptoms, access testing services and guidance at University Health Services by calling the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877 (NURS). Employees should contact their personal healthcare provider.
Mpox is a disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. While mpox can be very painful, it is rarely fatal. The World Health Organization, United States Department of Health and Human Services, and Austin Public Health have declared mpox a public health emergency. Austin Public Health tracks cases of mpox in Travis County, with the dashboard updating weekly on Thursdays. Just as we have seen with other communicable diseases, we expect campus to mirror the community with the incidence of this virus.
Mpox does not spread easily. It is most commonly transmitted through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact with infected people or animals. It can also be spread through contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with mpox. It can also be spread via respiratory secretions or oral fluids from a person with mpox during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact; however, it does not linger in the air and is not thought to be transmitted during short periods of shared air space.
A person with mpox 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. Scientists are still researching if the virus can be spread when someone has no symptoms.
A rash or sores, sometimes located on hands, feet, chest, face, around the genitals, or inside the body including mouth, vagina or anus. Other symptoms of mpox can include, fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue. Sometimes these symptoms occur before the onset of the characteristic rash or sores.
Anyone can get mpox, regardless of age, gender identity or sexual orientation.
If you are a UT student and have a new or unexplained rash or other symptoms of mpox, call the UHS Nurse Advice Line at 512-475-6877.
If you think you have mpox, cover all parts of the rash with clothing, gloves, or bandages, and wear a mask until you can see a healthcare provider. Remember to:
Yes. The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to mpox and people who may be more likely to get mpox. Austin Public Health maintains information on the current criteria for receiving a mpox vaccine in Austin as well as where to access the vaccine.
UT has a longstanding public health infrastructure and implements mitigation protocols when faced with known or emerging communicable diseases, and we collaborate on strategies needed to reduce the incidence or spread within our population. Mpox will be handled as we would most other communicable illnesses with similar modes of transmission. The university:
Presumed origins and communities who experience early impact from a communicable disease can influence stigmatization. Among many concerns, stigma can:
Eliminating stigma is the only way to ensure that patients receive the care they need.
For more information about mpox, please visit the FAQ page provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Additionally, Austin Public Health has a dedicated nurseline for questions about mpox: 512-972-5560.
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