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Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

U.S. monkeypox cases are very rare. Monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States, but cases have happened that were associated with international travel or importing animals from areas where the disease is more common.
The CDC is tracking multiple clusters of monkeypox that have been reported in early- to mid-May in several countries that do not normally report monkeypox, including in Europe and North America.


Anyone Can Get Monkeypox

Anyone who has prolonged, close contact with the monkeypox virus is at risk of being infected.


The monkeypox virus is typically spread through direct contact with

  • respiratory secretions (such as mucus or saliva)
  • skin lesions

Monkeypox is NOT a Sexually Transmitted Infection

Monkeypox can spread through any form of prolonged, close contact. However, sexual encounters are currently the predominant mode of transmission among reported cases.


Monkeypox Symptoms

A rash or sores, sometimes located on hands, feet, chest, face, around the genitals, or inside the body including mouth, vagina or anus. Other symptoms of monkeypox can include, fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and fatigue. Sometimes these symptoms occur before the onset of the characteristic rash or sores.


The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. The illness typically lasts for 2 − 4 weeks.

Talk to a Healthcare Provider

If you have a rash that looks like monkeypox, speak with a healthcare provider even if you have had no known contact with someone who has monkeypox.

Make an Appointment

Students can make an appointment at the health center by calling 817-257-7940 or speak with a nurse on our after hours nurse line.

No Symptoms? No Spread.

People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

Symptomatic Transmission

Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Monkeypox Testing

The TCU Heath Center can test for monkeypox; please note that the monkeypox test requires swabs from active lesions. At this time, there is not a blood test for monkeypox available at the health center or elsewhere. Turnaround time to receive a monkeypox test result is 48 hours or up to several days, as the Health Center sends tests to a commercial lab for processing. Those who are waiting for test results are required to isolate.

While there are effective vaccines for monkeypox, CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox at this time. However, vaccination may be recommended as Post-Exposure Prophylaxis Vaccines (PEP) for people who have had contact with someone who has monkeypox.

The monkeypox vaccine has limited availability and is not available at the TCU Health Center. If you are high-risk or have been exposed, contact your healthcare provider, or the Tarrant County Public Health call center at 817-248-6299, to inquire about the vaccine.

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