Alliance University is closely monitoring the global outbreak of monkeypox, and we are adjusting our response as needed.  At this time, while still rare, monkeypox (Orthopoxvirus) has gained significant public health and media attention due to the unusual spread of cases globally.  A significant percentage of US cases have been confirmed in the New York area.

To get the most up-to-date information, there are resources available through the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOH) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC). In Jersey City, resources are available through the State of New Jersey Department of Health.

What is Monkeypox?

It’s a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness, but can result in hospitalization or death. Symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters. Most people infected with monkeypox will get a rash. (See photos of monkeypox rash). 

How does it spread?

Monkeypox predominantly spreads through close, physical contact between people.  A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Who can get it? 

Anyone can get monkeypox. During this current outbreak, cases are primarily spreading via sex and other intimate contact. 

Some groups at heightened risk for severe outcomes include people with suppressed immune systems, elderly people, children under 8 years old, and people who are pregnant.

Is there a vaccine? 

Yes, but supplies are limited. Vaccination in NYC is currently only available through the NYC Department of Health or the State of NJ Department of Health. Alliance University does not have access to the monkeypox vaccine at this time. The NYC DOH and the State of New Jersey DOH are the best places to find the most up-to-date vaccine eligibility criteria and availability.

What can I do to protect myself?  

  • Don’t share bedding, towels, clothing, utensils, or cups with a person with symptoms of monkeypox.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox symptoms and those diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • Ask your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, such as fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion.
  • Schedule an appointment for a vaccination if you meet the eligibility criteria at one of these two links:

I’m experiencing symptoms—what now? What about testing?

  • If you start experiencing monkeypox symptoms, even if they are mild, talk to your health care provider immediately.
  • Are you a student? Student Health Services is here to support you. Notify Health Services by email:  healthservices@nyack.edu.
  • Are you a faculty or staff member? Contact your medical provider. Notify Human Resources by email:  karen.davie@nyack.edu.

I’ve been diagnosed with Monkeypox—what now? 

If you’re experiencing fever, chills or respiratory symptoms, you need to isolate yourself at home or in your residence hall room. If you’re not experiencing fever, chills, and respiratory symptoms, you do not need to isolate, however,  you do need to follow the additional protocols outlined by the Department of Health. Most people improve without treatment. The NYC DOH and State of New Jersey DOH is the best resource for the most-up-to date precautions.

What should you do if you find out about a case? 

Alliance University employees, event hosts, students and others who are made aware of a positive case, suspected case, or close contact with monkeypox should: 

  • Encourage the impacted person to report to Health Services or Human Resources
  • Keep the information confidential

Do not make announcements, notify others about the case, cancel classes, and/or make health recommendations to other members of the Alliance University community.

Learn more about monkeypox