Monkeypox Information

Johns Hopkins University is monitoring the recent spread of monkeypox and communicating with the Maryland Department of Health regarding identification of cases, testing, contact tracing, and procedures for treatment of infected individuals. We have assembled a Health Advisory Group of Johns Hopkins public health and medical professionals to guide our response to monkeypox.

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare but serious illness caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Prior to 2022, the majority of monkeypox cases were reported in central and west African countries. Outbreaks beyond these regions were small and rarely fatal.  

Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection. One of the easiest ways for the virus to spread is through prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. Anyone can contract monkeypox regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. Other monkeypox symptoms can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

People with monkeypox may experience all or only a few symptoms.

On July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern. On Aug. 4, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared the ongoing spread of monkeypox virus in the U.S. a public health emergency.

Isolation Requirement

All Johns Hopkins faculty, staff, and students who test positive for monkeypox must isolate, remain off of university property, and refrain from participating in-person in university activities (including classes) until cleared to return by Student Heath or Occupational Health. If you are infected with monkeypox, follow CDC guidance on how to isolate​ and disinfect at home to avoid exposing others.​

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