University Health Services (UHS) is monitoring the rise in the number of monkeypox cases. The 2022 monkeypox outbreak, first reported in May has been declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization (WHO) and a public health emergency by the White House. Cases have now been reported in the Cincinnati region. Central to our response is the CDC and local department of health directives on this matter.
What you should know
The monkeypox virus can spread to anyone through close/ personal contact with:
- Body fluids, rash, scabs, or respiratory secretions from infected person(s)
- Contact with clothing, objects or surfaces that have been touched by someone with monkeypox
- During intimate contact, including prolonged face-to-face contact
- Spread to the fetus through the placenta
Currently, the CDC recommends all persons with potential monkeypox symptoms be evaluated by a provider. Please call UHS if you need to speak to a provider
The symptoms to look out for include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- A rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
- The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
You may experience all or only a few symptoms.
Testing will be reserved for those with suspected monkeypox based on symptoms, physical signs, and risk of exposure.
If you think you have been exposed, or are experiencing symptoms:
- Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider.
- Avoid gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.
- Think about the people you have had close, personal, or sexual contact during the last 21 days, including people you met through dating apps. To help stop the spread, you might be asked to share this information if you have received a monkeypox diagnosis.
You can call UHS at 513-556-2564. Hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday: 8:30 am to 5pm; Wednesday: 9:30am to 5pm.
The local health departments will offer an initial supply of monkeypox vaccinations to those who fall in one of four risk categories. To find out if you could qualify, please visit https://www.cincinnati-oh.gov/health/ or hcph.org/monkeypox and complete a risk assessment. The health departments will determine each individual’s risk level and order of vaccine distribution based on the survey response. If appointments are available and you’re found eligible, you may be contacted by a public health department official to schedule your vaccination. UHS does not have vaccine supplies. Only the health departments do.
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