Information About Mpox

Updated November 29, 2022

The University of Oregon's providers and clinical teams are closely monitoring the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other medical resources to stay abreast of developments in the prevention, testing, diagnosis, and treatment of the viral disease known as mpox. 

Mpox is an infection caused by the hMPX virus. Formerly referred to as “monkeypox,” the World Health Organization has changed its terminology to a less-stigmatizing descriptor of the illness.

The virus does not spread without close contact and the risk to the broader campus community is low. In an effort to reduce spread as students and staff return to campus, University Health Services is providing guidance on how to protect against the virus and ensure our healthcare providers have appropriate training in an effort to reduce spread.

The mpox virus can infect people of any identity, so we should all be aware, educated, and ready to support. Certain identities are currently over-represented in this outbreak. These groups include cisgender or transgender men who have sex with men, transgender women who have sex with men, or gender nonconforming or nonbinary folk who have sex with men.

Mpox 

Mpox is a rare disease caused by the hMPX virus. Prior to 2022, mpox had been reported in people living in central and western Africa. For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention mpox website or visit Lane County Public Health.

Symptoms

  • Rash that looks like pimples or blisters
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

If you have an unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms, self-isolate and contact your primary care provider. If you don’t have a provider please call University Health Services at 541-346-2770 or Lane County Public Health at 541-682-4041. Keep the rash covered and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out.

How does mpox spread?

Anyone can contract mpox. In the current outbreak, mpox is overwhelmingly transmitted by prolonged direct skin-to-skin contact through sexual activity, hugging, kissing, and massage. Transmission through incidental household contact, respiratory droplets, and handling objects used by a person with mpox (bedding, towels, sex toys) have been reported but are much less common modes of transmission. Scientists are still researching whether mpox is spread by through semen, vaginal fluids, urine, or feces.

Mpox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks. Most people with mpox recover without treatment. People who do not have mpox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Who can get tested for mpox?

People can get tested for mpox if they have skin lesions and symptoms consistent with the disease. The University Health Services laboratory has access to mpox testing. University Health Services providers and clinical teams have determined best practices and evidence-based medical treatments and are fully prepared to test, diagnose, and treat the virus.

If a member of the UO community suspects they have mpox, they should self-isolate and call University Health Services at 541-346-2770, or contact their primary care provider for information on next steps.

Vaccinations for mpox

The U.S. currently has a vaccine (JYNNEOS) which may be used as post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) or to prevent mpox. University Health Services currently has the JYNNEOS vaccine available. If you are interested in the JYNNEOS vaccine, contact UHS at 541-346-2770 to speak with a nurse to see if the JYNNEOS vaccine is right for you, either for prevention or PEP.

What is the risk of mpox to the campus community?

The risk of contracting mpox remains low among the campus community. Mpox is spread through skin-to-skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who actively has symptoms.

It is important to seek testing and treatment quickly if you are exhibiting a new, unexplained rash along with other mpox symptoms or have had close contact with someone who recently tested positive for mpox.

How can I prevent mpox?

Avoid skin-on-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to mpox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to mpox.

What is UHS doing about mpox?

University Health Services provider and clinical teams:

  • have completed an in-service on mpox;
  • are closely monitoring the CDC and FDA, along with other respected medical education to stay abreast of developments to prevent, test, diagnose and treat mpox; and
  • have determined best practices and evidence-based medical treatments and are fully prepared to test, diagnose, and treat for this virus.

Respect statement

University Health Services believes all people have the right to access essential, effective, safe, and evidence-based medical care. Individual healthcare decisions belong between a patient and their medical provider. UHS will work with each student to provide individual care with regard to education, information, and options in a confidential and respectful way.

This site will be updated regularly as information becomes available through the CDC.