MPox is a rare virus that is spread mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has MPox. As a result, almost everyone has some risk for developing this infection.
While the risk for contracting the disease for the general public is low — it is still important for the Binghamton University community to know how MPox is spread, what its symptoms are, how to reduce personal risk and steps to take if you are experiencing symptoms.
How is MPox spread?
MPox spreads through close, physical contact between people. This includes:
- Direct contact with MPox sores, scabs, rashes or body fluids.
- Exposure to respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sexual activities. For more information on sexual health and monkeypox, see this CDC fact sheet.
- Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched an infectious rash or body fluids.
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
Symptoms of MPox
- The incubation period is 3–17 days, during which there may be no symptoms.
- Fever, headache, muscle aches, backaches, swollen lymph glands, chills and exhaustion may occur, though not always. These symptoms may occur before the rash or as it develops.
- A rash or rashes that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus (the rash goes through different stages before healing completely).
The illness typically lasts two to four weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. The disease is contagious from the onset of symptoms or rash until the scabs of the rash have dried up and fallen off and the skin is healing well underneath.
How to reduce your risk
- If you think you are at risk for MPox, get vaccinated. Learn more about vaccination.
- Limit the number of people with whom you have intimate contact.
- Avoid close face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a MPox-like rash or other symptoms.
- Ask potential sexual partner(s) whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with MPox and, if so, delay sex until they are evaluated by a healthcare provider.
If you are concerned you may be experiencing symptoms, a healthcare provider can perform a risk assessment and identify the appropriate steps to take. Students can make an appointment at Decker Student Health Services Center through the patient portal at binghamton.medicatconnect.com or at any local urgent care facility.
Any residential student who tests positive for MPox must report their positive test to the Decker Student Health Services Center. To report a result from a test not administered at Decker Student Health Services Center, students must send a confidential Secure Message to the medical director, Richard E. Moose, MD, using the health services patient portal immediately after receiving the positive result. They should also be prepared to upload a copy of their test report to confirm the infection.
For more information: