Monkeypox (MPX) Information

Students who think they might meet the criteria for vaccination or have symptoms are advised to contact Student Health Services

Health e-Messenger - questions or concerns about risk, symptoms, exposure, or testing: click Messages > New Message > Monkeypox Disease Questions

Health e-Messenger - questions about eligibility for the Monkeypox vaccine: click Messages > New Message > Monkeypox Vaccine Eligibility Questionnaire

Nurse Advice Line: (831) 459-2591

Staff and faculty are advised to contact their health care provider or visit Santa Cruz Health Services Agency for more information.

About Monkeypox Virus (MPXV) 

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. MPXV is part of the same family of viruses that cause smallpox. Symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

Signs and Symptoms

How It Spreads


What to do if you have had an exposure or symptoms

Vaccine and Treatment Options


visual examples of monkeypox rash                  more examples of monkeypox rash

Signs and Symptoms 

MPX might start with symptoms like the flu, with fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and general body aches. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the person can develop a rash or sores. The sores will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. They can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful and itchy. Symptoms can start 521 days after being exposed. 

The rash or sores may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, and face. They may also be limited to one part of the body. People with mpx may experience all or only a few of these symptoms. Most with mpx will develop rash or sores. Mpx can spread from the time symptoms start until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks. 

What are the symptoms? Infographic showing rash, bumps, blisters, fever, headache, muscle ache and swollen lymph node icons

How It Spreads 

Mpx can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with mpx rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox.

  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with mpx.

  • Contact with respiratory secretions.


There are number of ways to prevent the spread of mpx, including: 

  • Always talk to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and be aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus.

  • Avoiding close contact, including sex, with people with symptoms like sores or rashes. 

  • Practicing good hand hygiene.

  • People who become infected should isolate themselves until their symptoms are improving or have gone away completely.  The rash should always be well covered until completely healed.

  • Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms. 

  • Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus. 

  • Avoiding contact with infected animals. 

What to do if you have had an exposure or symptoms 

  • Wear a mask and cover your rashes and sores until you get them checked by a medical provider as soon as possible.

  • Take a break from in-person gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal skin-to-skin contact. This includes sexual activity.

Vaccine and Treatment Options

UC Santa Cruz Student Health Services has partnered with local and state public health departments and has access to the vaccine (JYNNEOS) and antiviral (Tecovirimat (TPOXX)) treatments against mpx for students who are eligible.

At this time, we are prioritizing the JYNNEOS vaccine for preventative use for students who are at high risk because they were notified of an exposure within the past 14 days and/or those who meet the following criteria: 

  • Presumed contacts who know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox.

  • Individuals in a Tier I or Tier II high risk priority group as defined by the California Department of Public Health. 

  • Known close contacts who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.

Tecovirimat (TPOXX) is an antiviral treatment option for those who have been diagnosed or have lesions and a known contact with mpx but are not yet diagnosed. 


Students who test positive for monkeypox (MPX) may not isolate themselves in their on-campus residence. The isolation team will further instruct you about isolation at appropriate temporary accommodations.



Updated 9/20/2022