CSUCI is closely following information and guidance from federal, state, and local public health authorities about the global spread of the monkeypox (MPX) virus. We continue to implement infection prevention and control programs and processes for COVID, that have been adapted to address potential MPX outbreaks as well. It is important to note that the current risk of getting monkeypox in the general public is low.

About Monkeypox | Report a Case | Monkeypox vs. COVID-19 | FAQs

About Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, a member of the same family as the smallpox virus. Similar to smallpox in that it can be spread from infected humans, animals, and materials contaminated with the virus, monkeypox is less transmissible and less severe than smallpox.

MPX was first discovered in 1958 and is a rare disease caused by infection with the MPX virus. The first human case of MPX was recorded in 1970. Since then, MPX has been reported in people in several other countries, prior to the 2022 outbreak.

Recently, there has been a significant increase in reported cases around the world, including in the United States and California.

Talk to a doctor if:

  • You believe you were exposed to MPX
  • You develop symptoms, such as fever, headache muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills exhaustion or a rash that looks like pimples or blisters

Students can schedule appointments with the Student Health Center providers to discuss symptoms and exposures. To speak with someone after-hours and weekends, call or visit Ventura County Ambulatory Care Clinics.

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Report a Case

Centralized reporting helps control and prevent the spread of communicable diseases, and protect the health of CSUCI students, employees, and the community. The University works to do its part through our infectious disease reporting process, which includes submitting reports to local public health officials to help them identify, track, and mitigate suspected notifiable conditions throughout the state.

It should be noted that monkeypox is not a new virus and does not spread in the same way as COVID-19. See below for a comparison of monkeypox and COVID-19 and continue reading for additional resources.

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Monkeypox vs. COVID-19

Current risk of contracting monkeypox in the general public is very low. Much less common than COVID-19.Continues to spread throughout the world. Extremely infectious.
NOT a new virus – been around since 1958Novel virus – first discovered in 2019
Spreads through close, physical/intimate skin-to-skin contact, including sex; contact with contaminated materials from active infection (towels, bedding, and clothing); respiratory droplets spread by close face-to-face interactionSpread through tiny droplets in the air by breathing, talking, sneezing, or coughing.
Symptoms include rash with firm bumps on face, hands, feet, body, or genitals; fever; low energy; swollen lymph nodesSymptoms include fever, cough, trouble breathing, stomach issues, headaches, muscle aches, loss of taste and smell; cold symptoms
Prevented by avoiding close physical contact with people who have symptoms, including sores or rashes; avoid contact with contaminated materials; communication with sexual partner/s about any recent illnessPrevented by vaccination; wearing a mask in indoor settings and crowded outdoor settings; meeting others outdoors in well-ventilated spaces; practicing good hand hygiene
Monkeypox virus mutates slower than coronavirusesMany variants of SARS-CoV-2 (virus that causes COVID-19; mutates rapidly

To learn more about Monkeypox, please visit the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) website.

For additional questions, or believe you have been exposed to MPX, contact CSUCI at  healthycsuci@csuci.edu email or call 805-437-3550.

Additional resources include:

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1. What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is part of the same family of viruses that cause smallpox. Similar to smallpox in that it can be spread from infected humans, animals, and materials contaminated with the virus, monkeypox is less transmissible and less severe than smallpox. Two main strains of the monkeypox virus are known to exist; the milder strain is currently circulating. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

2. What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Monkeypox 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.

  • People with monkeypox may experience all or only a few of these symptoms. Most with monkeypox will develop the rash or sores. 
  • A person may be able to spread monkeypox from the time their symptoms begin until all sores have healed, which may take several weeks.

3. How is monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox spreads primarily through close physical contact, including kissing, sex and other skin-to-skin contact. You may be exposed by coming in contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, or through respiratory secretions during close face-to-face contact. Contact with contaminated objects like clothing, bedding or towels may also be a means of transmission.

Monkeypox is not spread through brief, casual contact, conversations or walking by someone infected with the virus.

4. Who has been affected by the monkeypox outbreak?
The current outbreak is primarily affecting gay and bisexual men. While monkeypox can affect anyone, gay and bisexual men and their sexual partners are most likely to benefit from taking additional steps to prevent transmission.

5. What should I do if I have been exposed or develop symptoms?
If you have been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox or are experiencing monkeypox symptoms, you should call your health care provider right away for guidance and testing.

  • Stay at home while you are having symptoms, wear a mask when you are within 6 feet of others, and cover any sores you may have.

Most providers now can test for monkeypox through commercial laboratories. CSUCI students may schedule appointments with Student Health Center providers to discuss symptoms and exposures. To speak with someone after-hours or on weekends, call or visit Ventura County Ambulatory Care Clinics.

6. Is a monkeypox vaccine available?
Yes. Vaccination helps to protect against monkeypox when given before or shortly after an exposure. In the United States, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000 are two monkeypox vaccines currently available via the Strategic National Stockpile. At this time, the federal government has allocated a limited number of JYNNEOS vaccine doses to California.

In Ventura County, Ventura County Public Health is making the vaccine available and prioritized for those who meet these eligibility requirements or who have been in close contact with a confirmed case. If you think you may be eligible for a vaccine, please call Ventura County Public Health to be screened and scheduled (if appropriate) at 805-981-5201.

7. When should I notify the University of suspect/confirmed monkeypox? 
If you have a confirmed case of monkeypox or suspect you may have contracted the virus, please notify the University at your convenience. 

  • Students in University Housing: If a healthcare provider suspects or confirms monkeypox infection, notify healthycsuci@csuci.edu  or 805-437-3550 for isolation guidance to limit spread.
  • Employee may choose to contact Human Resources or their supervisors.
    • Personnel with questions about leave and accommodations needed while they are isolating can contact their supervisor or a human resources.
  • Students may choose to contact their instructors to make up course work when isolating at home.
  • If departments, personnel, and students have questions or concerns about potential exposure to monkeypox at a university setting or due to university work or instructional activities, please contact healthycsuci@csuci.edu.

8. What steps can I take to stay healthy?
It is important to talk to your sexual partners about any recent health changes they may have experienced, specifically new rashes, sores, or fevers. You may also choose to avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash or sore; avoid sharing personal items with someone who you know has or may have monkeypox, particularly clothing, bedding, or towels; and practice good hand hygiene.

9. How is the campus preparing?
Our Student Health Center providers and staff have been trained in identifying monkeypox.  We have planned and identified isolation spaces for students living on campus who contract monkeypox and need to self-isolate until the infectious period has passed.

CSUCI continues to work closely with the Ventura County Public Health to keep the campus prepared, informed and healthy. Training will be provided for Housing and custodial staff as well.

10. I am anxious about monkeypox; what can I do?
We understand that news of a new infectious disease while continuing to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic can be concerning and result in feelings of anxiety and uncertainty. Campus mental health resources are available to all students through the Counseling Center and the Student Health Center. Faculty and staff may seek support through the Employee Assistance Program.

11. Where can I find more information?
For more information on monkeypox, including symptoms as well as resources on how to help prevent the spread and protect yourself, visit: www.vchca.org/ph.  Other resources can be found through the California Department of Public Health and CDC websites.

Additional questions may be sent to healthycsuci@csuci.edu

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