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Mpox (monkeypox)

Updated on 7/25/2023

The CDC issued a health alert on human cases of Mpox (monkeypox) reported in multiple countries where Mpox is not endemic, including the United States. California Department of Public Health (CDPH) followed up with a health alert detailing the exposure risk and testing guidance for California. There are confirmed cases in California and San Diego.

Mpox spreads between people primarily through direct contact with infectious skin lesions, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Mpox can spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, cuddling, or touching parts of the body with Mpox sores.


The County has provided UC San Diego Health with the JYNNEOS vaccine, which is designed to reduce the spread of Mpox in the community, and decrease the severity of illness in those who have been exposed to the virus. A portion of this will be reserved for UC San Diego Students.

Population that are receiving the initial invitation are:

  • Persons who had more than one sexual partner in the past 14 days in an area with known Mpox
  • Persons who identify as gay, bisexual, trans, or other male who has sex with men, and has had more than one sexual partner in the past 14 days
  • Persons who identify as gay, bisexual, trans, or other male who has sex with men, and have had a sexually transmitted infection diagnosis in the past 3 months
  • Persons who are receiving HIV PrEP treatment

If you belong to any of these groups, but did not get an invitation, please send a message to Ask-A-Nurse via MyStudentChart. If you qualify, you will be sent a MyStudentChart invitation for the JYNNEOS vaccine. Dependent on the vaccine supply, some students will be added to the waitlist for the next vaccine clinic.

The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) recommends that those who may be at risk for, or seek additional protection from Mpox infection, as defined within this guidance, be vaccinated against Mpox. 

While there is currently an adequate vaccine supply, there are no longer "eligibility" criteria, and vaccine providers can offer vaccines to any patients who MAY be at risk, and persons who request vaccination should receive it without having to attest to specific risk factors.

Vaccination for Post-Exposure Prophylaxis

When expanding vaccination activities for at-risk populations, local health jurisdictions (LHJs) and vaccine providers should continue post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP) for patients known to have been exposed to mpox.

Vaccination Prioritization Considerations 

While specific eligibility criteria have been removed, prioritizing the education and vaccination of populations at highest risk is encouraged to decrease infections, serious illness, and prevent fatalities.

Vaccination efforts should be prioritized for:

  • Anyone living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).  It is recommended that additional efforts be made to reach those with a CD4 count <350/mm3, an unsuppressed HIV viral load, or an opportunistic infection, due to increased risk for complications of Mpox
  • Any man or trans person who has sex with men or trans persons
  • People who use or are eligible for HIV PrEP
  • Sex workers
  • Sexual partners of the above groups 
  • People who have had direct skin-to-skin contact with one or more people AND who know others in their community that have had Mpox infection
  • People who have been diagnosed with a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis) in the past 3 months
  • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks

If you belong to any of these groups please send a message to Ask-A-Nurse via MyStudentChart to schedule a vaccine.

What are the signs and symptoms of Mpox (monkeypox)?

  • Rash with firm bumps on face, hands, feet, body, or genitals. Rash will go through various stages before healing. Initially, rash can appear like pimples or blister and may be itchy or painful. 
  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Low energy
  • Muscle aches
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptom (nasal congestion, sore throat, cough)

If you have Mpox symptoms, isolate from others and contact Student Health Services (SHS) at (858) 534-3300 or send a message through Ask-A-Nurse via MyStudentChart to speak with a nurse to arrange to be seen in the SHS Urgent Care. SHS can test for Mpox and can expedite treatment for students who have severe, sensitive lesions by working with UC San Diego Health. We are working with UC San Diego Health and San Diego County Public Health regarding access to the vaccine.

Mpox Prevention Tips


Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with a rash that looks like monkeypox

  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone with monkeypox.

Avoid sharing drinks, food, linens, or clothing

  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with others.
  • Do not share bedding, towels, or clothing.

Wash your hands often

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.