Anyone can get Monkeypox. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, please contact the SWC for further recommendations.

We have adapted the following information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); please refer to the CDC website for the most current information.


  • Monkeypox Risk Chart

 Frequently Asked Questions


Who is at risk?

  • Anyone in close contact – especially, skin-to-skin contact – with an infected individual, can get monkeypox and should take steps to protect themselves. 

  • Anyone can contract and spread monkeypox. At this time, data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in the current monkeypox outbreak. However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.

  • Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox is not easily spread between people, and we believe the risk to the F&M community is low. However, confirmed cases have been reported at other colleges and universities, as well as in Lancaster County, and we should prepare for the possibility of cases on our campus. 


What are the common symptoms? 

The time from exposure to the onset of symptoms is roughly two to three weeks. Symptoms can include:

  • Fever

  • Headache

  • Muscle aches

  • Enlarged lymph nodes

  • Sore throat with painful swallowing

  • Rectal pain

  • Rash – typically painful, blister-like bumps 

The rash is almost always present but can arise several days after the onset of other symptoms.

If you are experiencing any symptoms or are concerned about potential exposure, you should contact the Student Wellness Center (SWC) (email or call 717-544-9051). If the SWC is closed, visit a local Urgent Care.


How does monkeypox spread?

  • Close personal contact, primarily skin-to-skin contact, with the monkeypox rash, scabs or body fluids of an infected individual, especially via kissing, cuddling, or sex.

  • Touching objects, fabrics (such as clothing, bedding or towels), or surfaces that have been extensively used by an infected individual.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions (prolonged face-to-face contact, such as kissing) of an infected individual.


What is monkeypox?

  • Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. The World Health Organization declared an international public health emergency over a global outbreak of monkeypox in late July 2022. Both the White House and the Department of Health and Human Services declared monkeypox a public health emergency in the US in early August.

  • The virus is primarily spread through prolonged contact, often skin-to-skin contact, with a symptomatic, infected individual. This is different from the spread of airborne viruses like influenza and COVID. 

  • Hospitalizations are infrequent and focused primarily on symptom control. Fatalities are very rare and occur primarily in individuals with underlying medical conditions.  


What is the best way to prevent contracting monkeypox?

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that could be monkeypox.

  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.

  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone who has  monkeypox or is suspected of having monkeypox.

  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person who has monkeypox.

  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person who has monkeypox.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.

  • Get vaccinated if you have been exposed or are considered to be at higher risk. The SWC does not have the monkeypox vaccine on site but can assist eligible students to get access to the vaccine through the Lancaster General Health system.


What should you do if you have been diagnosed with monkeypox?

Current data suggests people can spread monkeypox from the time symptoms start until all symptoms have resolved, which may take two to four weeks.

For this reason, the CDC recommends that people with monkeypox remain isolated at home or another location for the duration of their illness. The College does have limited isolation space in the event that a student contracts monkeypox and cannot go home.

A student who contracts monkeypox will work with the SWC and their House Dean to determine the best course of action that prioritizes the student’s well-being and comfort, their academic progress, and the overall health and safety of the F&M community.