Monkeypox Information

SUNY Geneseo's Health Services is closely monitoring the emergence of monkeypox in New York State and our region. The College will monitor monkeypox and provide further updates as needed.

We recognize that monkeypox was named prior to current best practices of naming viruses, and the name has elicited racist stigma and misinformation. We are prepared to adjust our language if indicated by The WHO. Monkeypox can impact anyone regardless of gender, race, or sexual orientation. As a campus, we stand against stigma or hatred toward anyone who contracts monkeypox, seeks care, information, or prevention.

If you experience or witness biased and/or stigmatizing comments, you can report them using the Bias-Related Incident report form ( Members of the Bias Prevention and Response Team will follow up to provide support and work to address the matter.

Below you will find answers to common questions about monkeypox.

How is it Spread?

Monkeypox spreads through close, physical contact between individuals, including:

  • Direct contact with an individual who has monkeypox sores or rashes.
  • Via respiratory droplets or oral fluids from someone with monkeypox, particularly for those who have close contact with an infected individual or are around them for an extended period.

It can also spread through contact with objects or fabrics (e.g., clothing, bedding, towels) used by someone with monkeypox.


The mode of transmission of monkeypox occurs through person-to-person contact. To limit risk of infection:

  • wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • avoid direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • avoid respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • avoid touching items (such as clothing or linens) that have touched an infectious rash or body fluids
  • practice safe sex, including the use of condoms and dental dams 100% of the time
  • wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when you are around others
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • avoid contact with infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal

Pregnant people can also transmit the virus to their fetuses through the placenta.

Signs and Symptoms

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus and can also 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.
Monkeypox Rash
Monkeypox Rash2

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever of 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C) or higher
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms, including sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough

You may experience all or only a few symptoms

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms
  • Some only experience a rash

    Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1–4 days later.

    Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a new layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2–4 weeks.

    Contagious Period

    A person with monkeypox may be contagious as soon as symptoms start. They are contagious until all skin lesions have healed, meaning that the scabs have fallen off ALL skin lesions, and an intact layer of new skin under the scab is present. The progression from symptom onset to the end of the contagious period is typically 2-4 weeks.

    Exposure To / Testing

    All students with symptoms or exposure to Monkeypox should call the Health Center at 585-245-5736 or seek medical attention off-campus for diagnostic testing, examination, and instructions for isolation. 

    Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone who has symptoms of monkeypox or has traveled to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox is endemic is at risk for infection. 

    After being tested for monkeypox, students should isolate until their results are known. 

    Medical Care at the Health Center:

    • Call to make an appointment.
    • The student will be asked screening questions and given an appointment.
    • Arrive at the health center a few minutes before your appointment.
    • Go to the entrance located in the back of Lauderdale, next to Lot G.
    • Call in to announce arrival at 585-245-5736 as the door is locked.
    • Someone will come to let you in and take you to a room.
    • Vital signs will be taken, verification of your medications/allergies, and a brief history of presenting illness will be asked.
    • The exam will be performed by a provider.
    • Depending on symptoms you may have multiple tests performed (e.g., sore throat—rapid strep test; fever without rash—rapid flu/covid test; rash—two lesions may be swabbed). The lesion test will take 2–3 days for the results to return from the lab. You will be notified via phone or secure message through the health portal of your results.
    • Depending on symptoms and presentation of illness, students may be sent home to isolate
    Testing Results / Isolation

    After being tested for monkeypox, all students must isolate until their results are known. 

    Negative patients can then leave isolation.

    Positive patients will lead to continued isolation.

    • People who develop monkeypox must isolate until they are no longer contagious.
    • People should expect the isolation to last 2–4 weeks.
    • Isolation may be discontinued when ALL skin lesions have resolved, the crusts have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. 

    Home Isolation Instruction:

    Please visit the CDC guidelines: Isolation and Infection Control: Home | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

    Academic Accommodations

    Students are reminded that Geneseo is a primarily face-to-face institution.

    The college will work with students who need to be absent, but the ability of faculty to arrange alternate assignments or make-ups for missed work over multiple weeks of absences will vary based on the type of course and instructor policies.  This is especially true in classes where there are significant class participation requirements or where in-person activities are part of the core learning experience (e.g., labs, practicums, or performance courses). 

    Students are responsible for informing faculty about absences and developing a plan for keeping up with missed work.  

    Faculty are not obligated to modify course expectations or deliver individualized plans for students who miss a substantial amount of class time, and in some cases, it may be necessary to withdraw from a class.


    CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who may be more likely to get monkeypox.

    People more likely to get monkeypox:

    • People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as:
      • Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses

      • Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses

      • Some designated healthcare or public health workers

    CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who may be more likely to get monkeypox. The preferred vaccine to protect against monkeypox is JYNNEOS, a two-dose vaccine. It takes 14 days after getting the second dose for maximum protection.