The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the state of California have declared monkeypox a public health emergency. The Yuba College Community District (YCCD) and COVID Response Team are closely following information and guidance from federal, state, and local public health authorities about the global spread of the MPX (monkeypox) virus. The health and safety of our community remain our top priority, and we ask all of you to stay informed and take precautions to protect yourselves and others.
What Is MPOX (Monkeypox)?
MPX is a previously rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is from the same family of the smallpox virus. MPX is generally less severe and less contagious than smallpox but can be a serious illness.
How Do You Get Monkeypox?
The risk of infection to the general public is low; however, certain behavioral factors increase the risk of infection and its transmission. Anyone can get MPX after having close physical contact with someone who has the infection, especially contact with infected lesions (sores), bodily fluids, or other contaminated surfaces.
MPX spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, hugging, massaging, and cuddling.
MPX can spread through touching materials used by a person with MPX that haven’t been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. (Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone/ Sharing towels or unwashed clothing).
It can also spread by respiratory secretions (talking, coughing, sneezing, breathing) during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact.
MPOX would NOT spread through Casual conversations or Walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store.
Sign & Symptoms
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of MPOX (Monkeypox)?
- MPX symptoms usually start within 2 weeks (but can be up to 3 weeks) after exposure to the virus. Usually, people are only thought to be contagious when they have symptoms and until all sores, including scabs, have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks. Researchers are still trying to understand if the virus can spread from someone who has no symptoms.People with MPX may experience all or only a few of these symptoms:
- MPX starts with symptoms like the flu, with fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and general body aches.
- Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the person can develop a rash or sores. The sores will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. They can look like pimples or blisters, and may be painful and itchy. Most people with MPX will get the rash or sores.
Diagnosis, Prevention and Treatment:
What Should You Do If You Are Exposed to MPOX or Experiencing Symptoms?
- – Avoid close contact with others and monitor your health for symptoms.
- – Contact a health care provider as soon as possible and let them know you have symptoms or have been exposed to MPX. Health care providers can provide testing and care for people who are diagnosed with MPX. Healthcare providers and local health departments may also recommend a vaccine for those who are exposed to help prevent infection or decrease the seriousness of the illness.
How Do You Prevent MPOX (Monkeypox)?
- There are number of ways to prevent the spread of MPX, including:
Always talk to your sexual partner(s) about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus
Avoiding close contact, including sexual activity, with people with symptoms like sores or rashes
Wash your hands often
People who become infected should isolate until their symptoms are improving or have gone away completely. Rash should always be well covered until completely healed.
Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms.
Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus.
What should I do if I suspect I might have monkeypox?
Isolate from others until you have been assessed by a healthcare professional.
Cover any rashes with clothing and wear a mask.
Avoid close contact with pets.
People with monkeypox should isolate until the entirety of their rash has resolved, scabs have fallen off, and their skin is fully healed. This may take 3 to 4 weeks.
Contact your primary care provider.
Is there a way to test for monkeypox?
What If You’re Diagnosed with MPOX (Monkeypox)?
Infections associated with monkeypox have been primarily treated at home with over-the-counter medications. In most cases, patients have not required hospitalization, and life-threatening illnesses or deaths are rare. There are currently no treatments specifically for MPX.
It is important that you follow the guidance given to you by your healthcare provider to keep yourself (and others) healthy.
If you have MPX symptoms such as a new or unexplained rash, talk to a healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you have had contact with someone who has MPX. Your provider may be able to offer treatments that are not specific to MPX, but may help to reduce your symptoms, like prescribed mouth rinses or topical gels or creams. There are currently no treatments specifically for MPX. However, MPX and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs developed to protect against smallpox, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be used to treat MPX. This treatment may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems, or people with complications from the infection or symptoms not controlled with supportive care.
If you have a rash and do not require hospitalization, isolate at home until your rash is fully resolved, scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
What about MPOX (Monkeypox) Vaccines?
There are currently two vaccines licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) that are available for preventing MPX infection: JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000. However, there are no data yet available on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current outbreak. Current vaccine supplies are also very limited.
The CDC advises that people who have been exposed to MPX be given the vaccine to prevent them from developing the disease. This is called post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP). PEP is most effective at preventing MPX if the vaccine is administered within 4 days of exposure. If given between 4–14 days after the date of exposure, vaccination may help reduce symptoms, but may not prevent the infection from developing.
At this time, the JYNNEOS vaccine is being prioritized for the following groups:
- Known close contacts of MPX cases who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.
- Individuals with certain risk factors who are more likely to have been recently exposed to MPX even if they have not had documented exposure to someone with confirmed MPX, such as people who attended an event or venue where there was known MPX exposure.
- Individuals at occupational risk of MPX including: laboratory workers who perform MPX testing, and clinical and public health workers who collect MPX specimens.
California Department of Public Health has a very limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine and is working with healthcare providers to identify and provide the vaccine to high-risk individuals only, such as a person who has been in close contact with someone suspected or confirmed to have monkeypox. Currently, you cannot request or receive a vaccine without seeing a healthcare provider. If you are at a higher risk for contracting MPX, you can check out Sacramento County Department of Health Services’ page for a list of vaccine locations in Sacramento County, along with eligibility criteria.
Are MPX vaccinations required for members of the YCCD community (students, employees, faculty, visitors, etc.)?
YCCD is following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health and does not require MPX vaccination.
Information about monkeypox is evolving, and guidance may change. For more information on local case numbers, symptoms, transmission risk, prevention and treatment, visit: