Updated 10/05/2022

SHAC is working with the state and our vaccine provider to try to access vaccines locally. If you are someone who qualifies for the vaccine (see vaccine highlight below) please complete this anonymous survey.

Monkeypox is still in the minds of the medical community as well as highly impacted communities, despite its decrease in press. As of October 5, 2022, the United States has reported 26,049 cases of monkeypox virus (MPV), with 206 cases being reported in Minnesota. 95% of cases in Minnesota have been reported in the Twin Cities metropolitan area, and there have been zero cases in Rice County. 94% of cases have been reported in male-identifying people. Newly reported cases of MPV seemed to peak in late-August, and have experienced only intermittent upticks since then (See CDC/MDH for most up-to-date case rate information).

What are the symptoms?*

With this outbreak, people are primarily seeing a rash on or near their genitals, anus, or mouth. Lesions could also appear on the hands, feet or chest. Some people may experience fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue, muscle aches, and headache, however not everyone does. 

  • The rash can range from just one to many lesions.
  • Lesions may start like pimples and progress to blisters and scabs.
  • Lesions may be itchy or painful.

Symptoms may start anywhere from 3 days to 3 weeks after exposure to someone with monkeypox.

*See CDC for most up-to-date information.

How does it spread?

Monkeypox requires close, personal, or intimate contact in order to spread. Examples include:

  • Direct contact with the rash or body fluids of someone who has monkeypox.
    • This can be through hugging, massage, kissing, or oral, anal or vaginal sex. It could also be through skin-to-skin contact with someone with monkeypox in a crowded setting.
  • Very close contact with respiratory droplets of someone who has monkeypox (think: cuddling or kissing or prolonged face-to-face time).
  • Less likely, through touching fabrics or surfaces that have been in contact with someone with monkeypox.

Monkeypox does NOT spread through:

  • Casual conversations
  • Walking by someone with monkeypox

Importantly, monkeypox is NOT a sexually transmitted infection, and it does not discriminate based on identity. As of August, the 2022 outbreak has been spreading mostly via close sexual contact among tight-knit communities, however, it can spread with any skin-to-skin contact.

How do you prevent the spread of MPX?

  • Always talk to sexual partners about any recent illness and be aware of any new or unexplained rashes on your body or your partner’s body.
  • Avoiding close physical or prolonged contact with people with symptoms like sores or rashes on their body.
  • Practice good hand hygiene.
  • Wear a mask when sick.
  • If you are infected, isolate until your symptoms have improved or resolved. When scabs form, rash should no longer be contagious. Rash should always be well covered until it is completely healed.
  • Cover skin when in crowded settings where physical contact with others is likely.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment (gown, mask, gloves) when caring for others with symptoms.

What should you do if exposed to MPX or experiencing symptoms?

  • Contact a healthcare provider as soon as possible to let them know of your exposure or symptoms. The healthcare provider can provide testing and care. 
    • SHAC does have access to testing for MPX through the Laboratory Corporation of America (LabCorp), it is wise to find out now if LabCorp is in your insurance network.
    • If testing is done, isolate until results are known. If positive, your clinician will help you determine the length of time you will need to isolate.

Monkeypox Vaccine

Vaccines are becoming more available in Minnesota, and right now the state is focusing on pre-exposure prophylaxis. Right now, the vaccine is for people who do not have symptoms of MPX infection, and:

  • You have been identified as a close contact of someone with monkeypox.
  • You learn that one of your sex partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • You are a man who has had sex with other men, or if you are a transgender or nonbinary person, and in the past 2 weeks you have had:
    • Sex with multiple partners or group sex.
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse).
    • Sex at an event, venue, or in an area where monkeypox transmission is occurring.
  • You might be exposed to monkeypox in the future, if:
    • You are a man who has sex with other men, or if you are a transgender or nonbinary person and in the past 6 months have had any of the following:
      • A new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted diseases including acute HIV, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis.
      • More than one sex partner.
    • You are a person who in the past 6 months has had any of the following:
      • Sex at a commercial sex venue (like a sex club or bathhouse)
      • Sex at an event, venue, or in an area where monkeypox transmission is occurring.
      • You are a person whose sexual partner identifies with any of the above scenarios.
      • You are a person who anticipates experiencing any of the above scenarios.

Carleton Student Health and Counseling is in communication with our vaccine provider and the state about potentially accessing vaccines, however at this time we do not have them. The closest provider we know of currently is Dakota County Public Health Western Service Center at 14955 Galaxie Avenue, Apple Valley , Minnesota 55124. They are holding appointment-only vaccine clinics on Friday mornings from 850AM-1010AM. Appointments can be scheduled by calling (952) 891-7999. Other sites can be found at this vaccine locator which is updated by distribution sites.

Additional Resources