Monkeypox Information

About Monkeypox 

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus which includes the vaccinia virus which is used in the smallpox vaccine, variola (smallpox), and other pox viruses generally limited to animals. Monkeypox is currently of public health concern because while sporadic cases have popped up in the past, associated with residence or travel in endemic areas, its emergence in non-endemic areas and transmission human-human is new.  Monkeypox is less transmissible and usually far less severe than smallpox, and far less transmissible than other viruses such as chickenpox, measles - and COVID.

There is a recent significant increase in reported cases where monkeypox is not commonly seen, including in Europe, Canada, the United States, and California. While it's important to stay alert about any emerging public health outbreaks, the current risk of getting monkeypox in the general public is very low.   


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

The rash or sores may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butt) 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 monkeypox may experience all or only a few of these symptoms. Most with monkeypox will develop rash or sores. Some people have reported developing a rash or sores before (or without) the flu-like symptoms. Monkeypox 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. 


Monkeypox spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, hugging, massaging, and cuddling. Monkeypox can spread through touching materials used by a person with monkeypox that hasn’t been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact.    

  • Monkeypox can be spread through: 

    • Direct skin-skin contact with rash lesions 

    • Sexual/intimate contact, including kissing  

    • Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone 

    • Sharing towels or unwashed clothing 

    • Environmental surfaces, particularly when in dark, cool, and low humidity environments  (i.e. bathrooms, showers, toilet seats).
    • Respiratory secretions through prolonged face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happens when living with someone or caring for someone who has monkeypox) 

  • Monkeypox is NOT spread through: 

    • Casual brief conversations 

    • Walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store  


There are number of ways to prevent the spread of monkeypox, 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

If you have had an exposure, have symptoms you are concerned about, or otherwise need to speak with someone about your risk, please reach out to your primary care provider for a phone or video appointment. 

  • Students can do this via eTang or by calling the 24/7 Nurse Advice Line at (510) 643-7197. 
  • Faculty and staff should reach out to their primary care provider. 


Supplies of JYNNEOS, the monkeypox vaccine, are currently very limited nationally but are expected to increase over the next month.  Health department websites and social media are the best resources at this time; UHS will update this website as we become aware.  Please share any news by emailing!

(updated 8/12/22) University Health Services is starting to get a more regular supply of monkeypox vaccines and has vaccine appointments available a few days a week that can be booked for now through a UHS clinician and soon self-booked on eTang.  If you believe you qualify for the monkeypox vaccine at UHS, please call the Advice Line at (510) 643-7197 during regular business hours (M-F 8-5).  The nurse will collect your information and consult with the physician on call for eligibility and an order.

We are currently reserving for students who are identified as close contacts (CDPH Tier 1, below) or individuals at high epidemiological risk (CDPH Tier 2).

  1. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) for known close contacts of monkeypox cases who are identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.

  2. Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP)++  for individuals with certain risk factors who are more likely to have been recently exposed to monkeypox even if they have not had documented exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox, such as people who attended an event or venue where there was known monkeypox exposure.

  3. Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP) for individuals at occupational risk of monkeypox according to Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidance, including laboratory workers who perform monkeypox testing, and clinical and public health workers who collect monkeypox specimens.

Please note: if you already have symptoms of monkeypox, you cannot receive the vaccine. 

As supplies become more available, we will be publicizing more broadly, hopefully, within the next few weeks  Check back frequently!

Faculty and staff should check with their primary care provider for vaccine availability, or seek vaccination at a community site.

Community Vaccine Locations

The following locations have supplies of Monkeypox Jynneos vaccine by appointment only: 

  • San Francisco City Clinic: 628-217-6600

  • Strut: 415-581-1600

  • Some San Francisco Kaiser Permanente locations: 415-833-9999

  • San Francisco Immunization and Travel Clinic: 415-554-2625

  • Steamworks Baths, in Berkeley, has a walk-in vaccination clinic on Wednesdays July 20, July 27, and August 3: 510-845-8992

  • The Oakland LGBTQ Community Center's Glenn Burke Clinic (GBWC) in partnership with Alameda County Public Health Department, will hold appointments only, one dose, JYNNEOS, Monkeypox vaccine clinics weekly on Tuesdays & Fridays, starting Friday, July 29th, at our Center. Due to the limited vaccine supply, the clinic will prioritize those who have been exposed or are at the highest risk for exposure to the Monkeypox virus. 

    • To assess your risk and to schedule an appointment, please click THIS LINK

For more information about the vaccine:

JYNNEOS Package Insert

California Department of Public Health monkeypox vaccine Q&A

images of monkeypox rashes
images of monkeypox rashes