The San Jacinto College Office of Emergency Management and College leadership are closely monitoring the global monkeypox (MPV) outbreak and cases in our area.
If you or someone you are in close contact with has tested positive for monkeypox, please use the below reporting form to notify the College.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare viral infection spread mainly through close, skin-to-skin, contact. It can cause a rash that looks like bumps, blisters or ulcers. Some people have flu-like illness before the rash develops.
What can you do to prevent contracting monkeypox?
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
What if I think I’ve been exposed?
If you believe you have been exposed, you should avoid close contact with others and watch closely for any symptoms. If symptoms or a rash develops, get tested and self-isolate pending test results to avoid spreading the infection to others. The CDC has additional details about the signs, symptoms and risk factors of monkeypox.
If you test positive or have close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox, please use the reporting form to notify the College. You must disclose this information in accordance with San Jacinto College Policy III.3008.B. A member of the HR Benefits team will reach out to employees and the Office of Safety, Health, Environment and Risk Management will contact students to determine next steps.
Is there a vaccine?
Yes, vaccines are available to those who have been exposed to monkeypox or who may be more likely to get it. You can read more about the vaccine on the CDC monkeypox website. If you have been exposed to a confirmed case of monkeypox in a high-risk manner, you are strongly encouraged to consider vaccination as a means of mitigating or preventing infection. Please reach out to your local health department to learn about their current monkeypox vaccine strategy. Keep in mind that once symptoms develop, a person no longer qualifies to receive the vaccine.
How is San Jac responding to monkeypox?
San Jacinto College has a communicable disease policy and response plan, and is working through that plan as it relates to monkeypox. As with other communicable diseases such as COVID-19, infection rates on campus are likely to mirror cases in the community. We are working to identify high risk programs and areas throughout the College that could be more suspectable to monkeypox transmission, and will work with those areas to educate individuals on how to best minimize transmission. Enhanced cleaning will be performed if needed.
What else should I know about monkeypox?
Misinformation is already prevalent regarding monkeypox. It is not a sexually transmitted disease nor is it isolated to certain communities. As an inclusive and caring college community, we all have a shared responsibility to refrain from using stigmatizing words or actions related to monkeypox virus. It is critical that we share factual information so that our students, colleagues and peers can make the best decisions for their health and the health of our entire community. Learn more about communicable disease on the CDC monkeypox website.