What is Mpox and how is it transmitted?
Mpox is a rare disease caused by infection with the human monkeypox virus (mpox). Historically, mpox has been a zoonotic disease and is endemic to forested areas in Central and West Africa. The name “Monkeypox” stems from the first recognized outbreak, which occurred among monkeys in a Danish laboratory in 1958. In May 20222, mpox emerged in humans in several countries without enzootic or endemic disease.
Anyone may be infected with mpox if they have close contact with the rash of an infected person, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. In the current outbreak, many of those affected had intimate, skin-to-skin contact or sexual contact with someone with mpox. Household transmission has also been documented. People with mpox may have a fever, headaches, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph nodes, a painful skin rash, chills, and exhaustion.
Learn more about mpox here:
OHSU Infection Prevention and Control
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Mpox: Frequently Asked Questions
If I work with patients, how do I protect myself from mpox?
Just like with any infectious disease, it is important to follow guidance for proper PPE use.
Students should wear a fitted N95 mask (or PAPR), eye protection (personal eye glasses is not enough), gown and gloves.
Be empowered to protect yourself and wear all of this PPE anytime a patient has symptoms suggestive of mpox, not just when someone has been confirmed to have mpox.
Learn more here.
How do I protect myself from getting mpox in the community?
We recognize that mpox presents a new worry for many people in our community and we are here to support you and advocate so that all students have access to inclusive, sex-positive information about how to protect yourself from mpox, including information about access to vaccines and other protective measures.
Vaccines are now available at OHSU for those that meet current criteria but continue to remain in limited supply. If you meet the criteria, you can schedule to receive a vaccination, please call the Connected Care Center at 503-494-5455, option 2 to schedule an appointment. You can also check your local county health department websites for information about vaccine access. We will continue to post updates as access to vaccination evolves. Please not that due to limited availability, only the first dose of the vaccine series is being provided and a second dose of vaccine will be needed once supply improves to provide adequate immunity.
We also encourage everyone to think about ways to minimize their personal risk and to talk with a SHW provider for more information.
Six Ways We can Have Safer Sex in the Time of mpox.
Safer Sex, Social Gatherings, and mpox
What do I do if I think I’ve been exposed to someone with mpox?
Refer to the Criteria for Workplace or Community Mpox Exposures to find out what to do next. Students should contact Student Health and Wellness (not Occupational Health) if they have had an intermediate- or high-risk exposure.
What should I do if I develop symptoms of mpox and need medical care?
Student Health and Wellness (SHW) is here to support you. Please call SHW to schedule an appointment for care at 503-494-8665 and let the scheduler know you are concerned about possible mpox. Please do not return to in-person campus activities until you have consulted with a provider.
What do I do if I am diagnosed with mpox?
Please follow OHSU’s Illness Among OHSU Healthcare Workforce Members Policy to determine when you can safely return to in-person academic activities.
If you had any in-person academic activities when you had a rash, please send an email from your OHSU email account to SHWcompliance@ohsu.edu with the date your rash started, the date of your positive test, and the best contact number. A staff member from Student Health and Wellness (SHW) will contact you within 1 business day.
If you need medical care, SHW is here to support you. Please call SHW to schedule an appointment for care at 503-494-8665 and let the scheduler know you have questions about a confirmed mpox diagnosis.