Mpox (Monkeypox)

(Updated: 11/30/2022)

WHO now recommends new preferred term 'mpox' as a synonym for monkeypox. More info about the name change, can be found here.


What is Mpox?

Mpox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It is endemic to central and western Africa and the reservoir for this virus is believed to be small mammals. Human cases in the current outbreak were first detected in May 2022 and have since spread globally. The virus usually requires close contact to be transmitted. In the U.S., there are medications available to treat infections and vaccinations are available for those who are eligible.

For more information go to the CDC About Mpox.


What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can begin as a flu-like illness with fever, muscle pain, headache, swollen lymph nodes, and respiratory symptoms followed by a rash. However, some individuals may develop the rash first followed by flu-like symptoms and others may only experience a rash.

Mpox cannot be diagnosed unless the rash is present. For more information and to see examples of the rash go to CDC Signs and Symptoms.

Symptoms usually begin within two weeks of exposure but may take up to three weeks to develop.

How is it spread?

The most common route of transmission is through direct physical contact with the mpox rash, sores or scabs.

Other routes of transmission may include:

  • Contact with contaminated objects including clothing, bedding, and towels.
  • Through respiratory droplets and saliva shared thorough prolonged close contact.
  • For more information go to CDC How It Spreads.

Who is at risk?

Anyone who is has close contact with the mpox virus can become infected. During this outbreak, the majority of cases have transmitted through close skin to skin contact.

How to reduce your risk:

  • Avoid skin to skin contact with individuals who have a rash that looks like mpox
  • Avoid sharing personal items and objects such a towels, bedding, cups, and utensils
  • Practice safer sex and make informed choices
    • Condoms and other barriers methods may help reduce risk depending on the location of skin lesions, but are likely not enough to prevent the transmission of mpox
  • Limit the number of sexual partners
  • Limit the number of anonymous sex partners
  • Get vaccinated if you are eligible.

Am I eligible to be vaccinated:

According to the CDC and CT Department of Public Health, you are eligible to be vaccinated if:

  • You've been exposed to mpox within the last 14 days.
  • You use social media apps/hook-up apps to find sexual partners.
  • You had two or more sexual partners in the last 14 days.

How to get vaccinated:

All eligible UConn Students are able to be vaccinated in Connecticut. For more information go to the CT Department of Public Health.

If you are a Storrs-based student and want to be vaccinated through SHaW, please call 860-486-2719 to see if you are eligible.