We are providing notification from the Chicago Department of Public Health about the risk of monkeypox virus in university settings. The Chicago Department of Public Health has been aware of off-campus events involving university students across Chicago that have led to possible exposures to monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox virus causes a painful rash that changes shape throughout the course of the illness, starting from a small lesion (like a pimple) to a fluid-filled lesion (like a blister), to a pus-filled lesion with a divot in the center. Often the rash is accompanied by flu-like symptoms, such as fever and chills, and swollen lymph nodes. It can last for up to three weeks.
Monkeypox virus is spread through close contact with the sores of an infected individual, often through intimate or sexual contact. It is important to know that while most cases of monkeypox so far have occurred in gay and bisexual men, anyone can get monkeypox virus. To reduce risk, it is important to maintain open communication with any intimate partners about your sexual health and limit your intimate activities if you are feeling ill.
If you have had sexual contact with multiple or anonymous sexual partners over the past few weeks, especially at a large party or event, you should consider getting vaccinated. You should also monitor yourself for symptoms; see a provider and get tested if you have symptoms. Monkeypox vaccination appointments and FAQs are available at UI Health monkeypox.