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Learn about monkeypox.

The CDC issued a health alert on human cases of monkeypox reported in multiple countries where monkeypox is not endemic, including the United States. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) followed up with a health alert detailing the exposure risk and testing guidance for California. There are confirmed cases in California and San Diego. To track the current number of cases and case demographics within San Diego County please visit their dashboard.

Monkeypox spreads between people primarily through direct/intimate contact with infectious skin lesions, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. If you are exposed to monkeypox or develop a rash, please contact your personal health care provider as soon as possible and let them know you have been exposed to monkeypox. If you are a registered student, please work with Student Health Services. Health care providers can determine if testing and additional follow-up is needed.


People with monkeypox get a rash that may appear anywhere on the body, including palms, soles, chest, face, mouth or anogenital region.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later. Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.


Take the following three steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not have close or intimate contact with someone with monkeypox. 
    • Cover cuts and other broken skin if handling any unknown materials with potential contamination
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with an infected person.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of an infected person. 
  • 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.


Monkeypox is more stable than COVID-19 in the environment and very stable once dried on surfaces. To maintain a safe campus environment, follow the CDC disinfectant protocols — which cover the various cleaning levels and chemical product lines used for general disinfection. For a direct link to the list of disinfectants effective against monkeypox, please visit the EPA-registered disinfectant list.  

EH&S will review and coordinate cleaning and disinfection needs for positive cases on a case-by-case basis. 


If supervisors are informed of a monkeypox positive case, please contact the Campus EOC for guidance.