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Public Health Update: Monkeypox

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus closely related to smallpox, but symptoms of monkeypox are usually milder. It is not a new disease, but the number of cases worldwide is increasing.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, or a rash that resembles pimples or blisters. The rash can be painful or itchy. Symptoms usually start within three weeks after exposure and will typically last two to four weeks.

How is monkeypox spread?

The monkeypox virus can spread to anyone. It is most commonly spread by direct, skin-to-skin contact, such as kissing or sex; or by touching linens or towels used by someone who is infected.

What is OU doing about monkeypox?

The University of Oklahoma is closely monitoring the state of the monkeypox virus across its three campuses and throughout Oklahoma and will follow guidance issued by the CDC and the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The university will share any specific information that relates to the OU community as it develops.

What should I do if I think I have monkeypox?

If you are experiencing symptoms, or believe you were exposed to the virus, self-isolate and, during business hours, contact your campus health center:

Norman Campus
OU Health Services at Goddard Health Center
(405) 325-4611

Health Sciences Center
HSC Student Health
(405) 271-9675


HSC Employee Health
(405) 271-3959

Student and Employee Health
(918) 660-3102

Outside of business hours, call your local emergency room.

Resources to learn more:

For more information about symptoms, treatment, and prevention, visit the CDC’s website.