Director of Health Services
Information on this page is subject to change as the situation evolves.
Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as variola virus, the virus that causes smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and Monkeypox is rarely fatal.
Although there have been Monkeypox cases throughout the world in the past, the current outbreak of Monkeypox started in May 2022 in Europe, with the first confirmed case in the United States May 17, 2022. Since then, cases have risen in the United States, as well as globally. In July, the World Health Organization declared Monkeypox a Global Health Emergency. The United States declared the ongoing spread of Monkeypox virus in the U.S. a Public Health Emergency in August 2022.
For up-to-date information about the spread and incidence of Monkeypox in the United States, please see the CDC 2022 US Map and Case Count. For international information, please refer to the 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak Global Map.
Monkeypox is NOT a sexually transmitted disease.
Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including: direct contact with Monkeypox rash, scabs or body fluids from a person with Monkeypox; touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels) and surfaces that have been used by someone with Monkeypox; and face-to-face contact with respiratory secretions.
This direct contact can happen during all types of intimate contact or by touching fabrics and objects during intimate contact that were used by a person with Monkeypox before being disinfected. Additional information regarding intimate contact and ways to protect yourself is available on the CDC’s website.
Research is ongoing about the spread through respiratory secretions, including how often Monkeypox is spread through respiratory secretions, or when a person with Monkeypox symptoms might be more likely to spread the virus through respiratory secretions.
The College is actively monitoring the situation and we are in close communication with our partners at Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), St. Luke’s University Health Network (SLUHN), the Allentown Health Bureau (AHB), the CDC, the PA Department of Health and Human Services, and the American College Health Association to guide our planning and decision making. In addition, the College will do the following:
Provide community health education to include general information about the virus, local health resources, prevention information, early detection and treatment information, and education to reduce stigmatization.
Ensure that our cleaning and disinfecting products and procedures are effective against Monkeypox. The College currently uses disinfectant products that are effective for this purpose. Our cleaning procedures include the following:
Coordinate clinical testing and treatment options through Health Services for students.
Health Services will also stay in close touch with the Allentown Health Bureau and other local agencies to advertise and support vaccination clinics that may become available locally.
Symptoms of Monkeypox progress over time. Initial symptoms of Monkeypox include fever, body aches, fatigue, and sometimes enlarged lymph nodes. The disease can result in a rash that leads to red bumps on the skin that can appear on hands, feet, face, mouth, or genitals. These rashes can transform into raised bumps or painful pus-filled red papules.
Clinical Progression of Monkeypox
Incubation: Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 1-2 weeks (but possibly up to 3 weeks) of exposure to the virus. During this phase, the person is not considered contagious.
Contagious Period: Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start (early onset) 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.
For specific questions, contact Health Services or your healthcare provider:
Students who are experiencing any symptoms, such as flu-like symptoms or rash, must call Health Services (610-606-4640) to schedule an appointment for clinical evaluation or referral. After hours (nights and weekends), students should call Campus Police (610-437-4471).
Employees should remain home and contact their health provider for follow up and clinical testing. If the employee tests positive, they should notify Human Resources for further instruction.
Students with a known exposure to a person with known or suspected Monkeypox should notify Health Services as soon as possible during regular business hours for important Monkeypox exposure information (including self-monitoring information and vaccination information).
Employees with a known exposure to a person with known or suspected Monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider.
Isolation Period: Isolation is from the onset of symptoms 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.
Residential students whose permanent address is within 200 miles of the College will be required to return home, or to the off-campus location of their choosing, for the isolation period. Residential students whose permanent address is more than 200 miles from the College will be provided with information about local hotels at which they may isolate, at their own expense.
Return from Isolation: All infected persons must have an evaluation by their health care provider when all lesions have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.
*Students who cannot isolate away from campus due to extraordinary circumstances, will work with the Dean of Students Office to address their situation.
Student Academic Information during Isolation
Students who are isolating with Monkeypox will not be penalized for isolation-related absences of up to 2 weeks. For absences expending beyond 2 weeks, the Care Team will work with the student’s faculty to determine the student’s academic options on a case-by-case basis. Students isolating for Monkeypox should contact Anna Eichner, Director of Academic Services and Student Success for information about academic options.
General Information and Incidence