Monkeypox (MPV) Information

Grand Valley State University is closely following the global monkeypox outbreak.  Local health departments are tracking cases in West Michigan.   

What is MPV?

MPV is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. The virus that causes MPV is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. MPV symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.  Learn more:  About Monkeypox | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

MPV is not as contagious as COVID-19. You must have prolonged, physical contact or shared bedding/clothing/towels with someone who has MPV for it to spread.

CDC Monkeypox (MPV) Briefing

How is MPV Spread?

According to the CDC, 

Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox (MPV) is at risk.

  • MPV can be spread from person to person through close, personal contact (often skin to skin), including:
    • direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
    • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
    • touching objects, fabrics (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the rash or body fluids of someone with monkeypox
    • being scratched or bitten by an infected animal
  • MPV can be acquired by all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation
  • MPV causes a rash
  • MPV can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.

MPV Signs and Symptoms

According to the CDC,  MPV symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

If you get MPV, you may have fever, chills, sore muscles, headache, or tiredness and then get a rash.  More information here: Signs and Symptoms | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

MPV can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Tips to Prevent MPV

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
  • Do not share potentially contaminated items, such as bed linens, clothing, towels, wash cloths, drinking glasses or eating utensils. Avoid mixing Laundry. 
  • When sharing spaces be sure to clean toilet seats and faucets
  • Cleaning and personal hygiene should be top priority.  
  • Practice safe sex and avoid risky sexual behaviors.
    • Have a conversation with partners about MPV.
    • Festivals, events, and concerts where attendees are fully clothed and unlikely to share skin-to-skin contact are safer. However, attendees should be mindful of activities (like kissing) that might spread MPV.
    • A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal, often skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rash you see on others and consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact.
    • Enclosed spaces, such as back rooms, saunas, sex clubs, or private and public sex parties where intimate, often anonymous sexual contact with multiple partners occurs, may have a higher likelihood of spreading MPV.
  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like MPV.
    • See signs and symptoms here
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with MPV.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with MPV.
    • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with MPV has used.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with MPV
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with MPV.

GVSU Interim Isolation and Precautions for MPV

EXPOSED PROTOCOL

21-DAY MONITORING PERIOD

WHEN CAN I END THE MONITORING PERIOD

EXPOSED OR CONFIRMED

If you have been exposed to people or animals with MPV, you should monitor your health and look for signs or symptoms consistent with MPV for  a full 21 days after your last exposure

If a rash occurs:

Follow isolation and prevention practices until (1) the rash can be evaluated by a healthcare provider, (2) testing is performed, if recommended by their healthcare provider, and (3) results of testing are available and are negative.

If other signs or symptoms are present, but there is no rash:

Follow isolation and prevention practices for 5 days after the development of any new sign or symptom, even if this 5-day period extends beyond the original 21-day monitoring period. If 5 days have passed without the development of any new sign or symptom and a thorough skin and oral examination reveals no new skin changes such as rashes or lesions, isolation and prevention practices for MPV can be stopped.

If a new sign or symptom develops at any point during the 21-day monitoring period (including during a 5-day isolation if applicable), then a new 5-day period should begin and you should follow isolation and prevention practices.

Isolation and prevention practices can be ended prior to 5 days if a healthcare provider or public health authority believes the rash, signs, or symptoms are not due to monkeypox and there is a clear alternative diagnosis made that doesn’t require isolation. The decision on when to end symptom monitoring and home isolation, either during the 21-day monitoring period or any 5-day extension, should be made with input from public health authorities.

•Wear a well-fitting mask, Until all signs and symptoms of MPVillness have fully resolved

•Do not share items that have been worn or handled with other people or animals. Launder or disinfect items that have been worn or handled and surfaces that have been touched by a lesion.

•Avoid close physical contact, including sexual and/or close intimate contact, with other people.

•Avoid sharing utensils or cups. Items should be cleaned and disinfected before use by others.

•Avoid crowds and congregate settings.

•Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after direct contact with the rash.

POSITIVE FOR SYMPTOMS

ISOLATION

I HAVE SYMPTOMS, WHEN CAN I END ISOLATION?

EXPOSED OR CONFIRMED

Tested Positive for MPV or healthcare Provider or public health authority confirmed MPV

Isolate for the duration of illness, which typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

•Follow CDC Guidance based on setting (Click Here for more details)

•Consider vaccination

Isolation and prevention practices can be ended by a healthcare provider or public health authority

•Wear a well-fitting mask, Until all signs and symptoms of MPV illness have fully resolved

•Do not share items that have been worn or handled with other people or animals. Launder or disinfect items that have been worn or handled and surfaces that have been touched by a lesion.

•Avoid close physical contact, including sexual and/or close intimate contact, with other people.

•Avoid sharing utensils or cups. Items should be cleaned and disinfected before use by others.

•Avoid crowds and congregate settings.

•Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after direct contact with the rash.

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Page last modified December 1, 2023