The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is tracking cases of monkeypox, which has spread throughout several countries including the United States.  

The health and well-being of Shippensburg University students, faculty, and staff is always our top priority. The university, with support of health and safety advisors, continues to closely monitor this situation. We will utilize guidance from state and federal health officials to make informed decisions and educate the campus community as it becomes available. 

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral disease which has historically spread in tropical areas in Central and West Africa. Monkeypox infection usually causes mild symptoms, and many patients may be asymptomatic.

Symptoms include a fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, general feelings of discomfort, and exhaustion. Formation of a papular rash (i.e., fluid-filled bumps) is typical 1-3 days after the first onset of a fever. The rash often appears on the face first but can also occur on other parts of the body, especially the genital area. 

How is monkeypox transmitted? 

Monkeypox spreads through close, intimate personal contact, often caused by skin-to-skin connection. It can also spread by contact with contaminated clothing, bedding, or towels, or from respiratory secretions from an infected individual. 

It is important to know, the monkeypox virus differs from COVID-19 in that it is not easily transmitted person-to-person. 

How to protect yourself and others 

Avoid close, intimate personal contact with individuals who are sick, or who have a rash, which are symptoms monkeypox. Individuals should also avoid contact with objects and materials that may have come into contact with a sick person. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer before eating or touching your face, and after using a restroom.

Vaccines are available and recommended by the CDC for anyone who has been exposed to monkeypox. Please contact your healthcare provider if you are not feeling well or believe you may have come into contact with a sick individual.

Student questions related to monkeypox may be referred to the Etter Health Center by calling (717)477-1458. Center hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00am – 7:00pm, and Saturdays from noon – 5:00pm. Employees should contact their healthcare provider with questions related to monkeypox.