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Brooks College of Health


What is Mpox?

Mpox is a rare disease caused by infection with the mpox virus. Mpox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Mpox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and mpox is rarely fatal. Mpox is not related to chickenpox. For more information, visit the CDC's page about mpox.

Signs and Symptoms of Mpox

The CDC's website contains additional information about Mpox signs and symptoms, as well as information on preventing the spread of mpox (Español).

Mpox symptoms

People with mpox often get a rash that may be located on hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth or near the genitals, including penis, testicles, labia, and vagina, and anus.  The incubation period is 3-17 days. During this time, a person does not have symptoms and may feel fine.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of mpox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.


Who Should Get Vaccinated Against Mpox

The CDC provides both an in-depth look into the mpox vaccine and a general overview.

CDC recommends vaccination against mpox if:

  • You had known or suspected exposure to someone with mpox
  • You had a sex partner in the past 2 weeks who was diagnosed with mpox
  • You are a gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men or a transgender, nonbinary, or gender-diverse person who in the past 6 months has had any of the following:
    • A new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis)
    • More than one sex partner
  • You have had any of the following in the past 6 months:
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse)
    • Sex related to a large commercial event or in a geographic area (city or county for example) where mpox virus transmission is occurring
    • Sex in exchange for money or other items
  • You have a sex partner with any of the above risks
  • You anticipate experiencing any of the above scenarios
  • You have HIV or other causes of immune suppression and have had recent or anticipate future risk of mpox exposure from any of the above scenarios
  • You work in settings where you may be exposed to mpox:
  • You work with orthopoxviruses in a laboratory

What You Need to Know

Student Health Services does not carry the mpox vaccine.  However, students, faculty, and staff interested in vaccination can obtain the vaccine through the following resources:

Any Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) or DOH-Duval:

  • Agape
    • 120 King Street
    • Jacksonville, Florida 32204
    • (904) 760-4904
  • Sulzbacher
    • 611 East Adams Street
    • Jacksonville, Florida 32202
    • (904) 394-8069
  • DOH-Duval: To schedule an appointment for the mpox vaccine, call 904.253.1130

Make a Plan Ahead of Time

Students who are diagnosed with mpox must isolate until the rash is fully healed over. This can be up to 4 weeksThe illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. On-campus residents suspected of mpox will be required to isolate off-campus until either cleared with a negative lab result by the Florida Department of Health-Duval or once the rash is completely healed over and new skin has developed (2-4 weeks). Mpox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. 

Students with contact to people confirmed to have mpox should be monitored for symptoms for 21 days after their last exposure. Contacts will be instructed to monitor their temperature twice daily. If symptoms develop, contacts should immediately self-isolate and contact SHS for further guidance. Contacts who remain asymptomatic can be permitted to continue routine daily activities (e.g., go to work, school).  Contacts should not donate blood, cells, tissue, breast milk, semen, or organs while they are under symptom surveillance.

Recommended Planning Steps:

  1. Compile the names and contact information of your healthcare providers. Add Student Heath Services as a contact on your phone, (904) 620-2900.
  2. Please be prepared to make off-campus living arrangements for 2-4 weeks in case of a mpox infection.
  3. Create a list of people to call if you need help with food, medicine, and other supplies during isolation.    

Cleaning and Disinfection 

During isolation at home, people with mpox should clean and disinfect the spaces they occupy regularly to limit household contamination.

  • ISOLATING ALONE IN HOME: People with mpox who are isolating alone at home should regularly clean and disinfect the spaces they occupy, including commonly touched surfaces and items, to limit household contamination. Perform hand hygiene afterwards using an alcohol-based hand rub (ABHR) that contains at least 60% alcohol, or soap and water if ABHR is unavailable.
  • ISOLATING WITH OTHERS IN HOME: People with mpox who are isolating in a home with others who don’t have mpox should follow the isolation and infection control guidance, and any shared spaces, appliances, or items should be disinfected immediately following use.

People who have recovered from mpox and whose isolation period has ended should conduct a thorough disinfection of all the spaces within the home that they had been in contact with. Please see the CDC page, Disinfecting Home and Other Non-Healthcare Settings, for the steps to follow to minimize risk of infection to others in your home after recovery.

Mpox Resources 

The CDC's page on Mpox contains links to everything you might need to know about mpox, the vaccine, and treatment.