Monkeypox Advisory

Dear USF Community,

We are dedicated to ensuring the safety of our students, staff, and faculty as we monitor the current outbreak of monkeypox, which the World Health Organization recently declared a global public health emergency. In response to the rise in cases, San Francisco's mayor and public health officials declared a local emergency on Thursday. This will allow the city to secure additional resources, including more vaccine doses, to help mitigate the spread of monkeypox. Currently, the risk of infection for the general public is low. USF will continue to follow current CDC and state and local DPH guidance related to suspected or confirmed cases. 

All suspected monkeypox cases must be reported within one working day to the San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) Communicable Disease Control. Your health care provider will ensure that happens. For our satellite campuses, additional information is available from the California Department of Public Health or through your county health services department.

Additional Information on Monkeypox

To prevent getting monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash. This includes touching and sharing utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox. There are images and detailed descriptions of monkeypox’s distinctive rash on the CDC website.
  • 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.
  • If you have reason to believe that you have been exposed to or may have monkeypox, contact your doctor, who will then contact the Department of Public Health to arrange testing and coordinate treatment.

After a person is infected with monkeypox, there is an incubation period that usually lasts one to two weeks. During this time, the person has no symptoms and is not contagious.

After the incubation period, persons with monkeypox will develop an early set of symptoms called a prodrome that typically occurs one to three days prior to the rash developing. A person may sometimes be contagious during this period. The symptoms of this period often include:

  • Fever (most common symptom)
  • Malaise or fatigue
  • Headache
  • Body aches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Swollen lymph nodes in the neck, armpits, or groin

After the prodromal symptoms, the infected person will usually develop a rash or sores. These sores may appear throughout the body on a person’s hands, feet, chest, and face, including oral sores. During this particular outbreak, genital sores or rash have been described and may be confused for other sexually transmitted diseases. The rash or sores may be itchy or painful. Lesions progress through several stages before eventually falling off. A person is contagious from the onset of the rash or sores through the scab stage. Once all scabs have fallen off a person is no longer contagious. It is best to consult with your physician if you have any symptoms or have been exposed.
If you are sick with monkeypox:

  • Isolate at home (do not come to school or work).
  • Students should contact their medical provider and Health Promotion Services (HPS) and employees should contact their medical provider. Residential students will receive additional information.
  • If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.

More information is available from the CDC.

We will continue to monitor the situation.

Natalie Macias, Director, Health Promotion Services
Diane Nelson, Assistant Vice President, Human Resources