Monkeypox Information and Resources

Information and guidance regarding the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox

By
Columbia Health
July 29, 2022

Columbia University is working closely with city, state, and federal health officials as we monitor the multi-country outbreak of monkeypox. Numerous cases have been confirmed in New York City and the surrounding areas as well as other parts of the United States and many countries around the world.

Monkeypox virus infections are rare and result in disease that has previously occurred largely in countries in sub–Saharan Africa. Usual symptoms include fever, muscle pain, swollen lymph glands, and a rash that forms pus-filled blisters which then crust over. The illness is usually mild and self-limited.

The current outbreak is distinguished by predominance of rash and sores on the skin and in the mouth and other mucosal areas. In some cases, monkeypox can be painful and result in scarring. Severe cases may occur in young children, pregnant people, or people with suppressed immune systems (including those living with HIV).

Monkeypox predominantly spreads through close contact between people. Anyone can get monkeypox infection. During this current outbreak, at this point in time, certain populations are being affected by monkeypox more than others, including men who have sex with men (MSM).

Columbia Health is here to support Morningside/Manhattanville students

Testing

Testing for people with monkeypox symptoms is available at Medical Services and our providers can promptly diagnose and manage potential and confirmed cases as well as provide guidance for exposed contacts. Schedule a same-day appointment through the Patient Portal or by calling 212-854-7426.

Prevention and Risk Reduction

Individuals can minimize their risk for exposure by:

  • Asking sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms of monkeypox.
  • Avoiding skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox symptoms and those diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • Not sharing bedding, towels, clothing, utensils, or cups with a person with monkeypox.

Students should reach out to Columbia Health if exposed or experiencing symptoms.

If you would like to speak with someone to discuss your concerns around exposure risks and prevention strategies, please contact Alice! Health Promotion  at [email protected] or the Gay Health Advocacy Project (GHAP) at [email protected]

 

Vaccination

Currently, vaccination in NYC is only available through the Department of Health. Supplies are limited, and vaccine is currently only available to close contacts who have had a recent exposure to person(s) with monkeypox, as well as gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary, who are age 18 or older. Priority is also given for those with recent history of multiple or anonymous sex partners.

Columbia University does not have access to the monkeypox vaccination at this time. We encourage eligible individuals to use the New York City resources when seeking vaccination.

Learn more about monkeypox: