Several national and international health organizations, as well as the White House,
have declared the monkeypox virus (MPV) a public health emergency. In a public health emergency, the government is able to quickly mobilize resources to mitigate spread of the disease.
While the current risk to the general public of contracting MPV is very low, CMU Health is monitoring reports in our region and state.
Below, you will find information and resources regarding MPV, as well as information on how CMU is preparing to respond in the event of cases on campus.
Frequently asked questions
What is MPV?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with MPV, part of the family of viruses that causes smallpox. It is not, however, related to chickenpox. Two main strains of MPV are known to exist; the milder strain is currently circulating. The disease is rarely fatal, and more than 99% of infected individuals survive.
What are the symptoms of MPV?
MPV may begin with flu-like symptoms—fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes and general body aches. Within one to three days (sometimes longer) after onset of fever, a person may develop a rash or sores. People with MPV may experience all, only a few, or none of these symptoms. Symptoms typically start within three to 17 days of exposure and can last two to four weeks.
How is MPV spread?
MPV spreads primarily through close personal and prolonged contact during activities like kissing, hugging, massaging, cuddling and sex—especially when there is direct exposure to infectious rashes, sores, scabs or body fluids. MPV can spread by contact with materials used by a person with MPV that haven’t been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, close contact. MPV is not spread through casual brief conversations or walking by someone with MPV.
How do I avoid or prevent infection?
The CDC’s website provides several steps individuals can take to prevent the spread of MPV including:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have MPV or a rash that looks like MPV.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with MPV has used.
- 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.
Please review the CDC’s recommended preventative steps and follow recommendations to protect yourself and others.
What should I do if I have been exposed or am experiencing symptoms?
CMU students who have symptoms or are concerned about an exposure should:
- Contact their primary health care provider or schedule an appointment through Student Health Services.
- Be sure to call Student Health Services at 989-774-6599 before coming to the clinic.
- Masks are required at the CMU Health campus clinics for all patients.
Faculty and staff are encouraged to call their health providers or the CMU Primary and Specialty Care Clinic on campus.
Is there a vaccine?
Yes. The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to MPV and people who are at high risk to get MPV. The preferred vaccine to protect against MPV is JYNNEOS, which is a two-dose vaccine.
All Michigan health departments have access to the JYNNEOS vaccine and are following the state vaccination strategy. In Isabella County, the Central Michigan District Health Department is the nearest facility where the vaccine is
available to those identified at highest risk.
How is the campus preparing?
As during the recent COVID-19 pandemic, CMU will continue to monitor cases and make necessary recommendations and plans to mitigate any risk for our campus community.
There are plans for isolation spaces for students living on campus who contract MPV and need to self-isolate until the infectious period has passed. CMU continues to work closely with the Central Michigan District Health Department to keep the campus
prepared, informed and healthy.
What if I am feeling anxious or concerned?
The news of a new infectious disease after two years of the COVID-19 pandemic can be concerning and may result in feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. The CMU Counseling Center has several resources available for those who need support.
- Students may call 989-774-3381 to speak to a counselor or visit the Counseling Center’s website for more information.
- Faculty and staff may seek support through Health Advocate, the CMU Employee Assistance Program.
- Students, faculty and staff may make an appointment with CMU Health Psychiatry Services, located on the second floor of Foust Hall. Call 989 774-6599, option #3, to schedule an appointment.
Where can I learn more?
For additional information, please visit the Central Michigan District Health Department, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.