Coronavirus/COVID-19 Information

Let's Talk About Monkeypox

The University is closely monitoring the monkeypox emergency and preparing response plans. We ask our campus community to stay informed and take precautions to protect themselves and others.

(announced on August 17, 2022)

Dear students,

As you are likely aware, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the state of California have declared monkeypox a public health emergency. The University is closely monitoring the situation, and our medical professionals and Pandemic Management Team are working with Butte County Public Health to prepare response plans. The health and safety of our community remain our top priority, and we ask all of you to stay informed and take precautions to protect yourselves and others.

What is monkeypox?

The monkeypox virus is from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Symptomsassociated with monkeypox may include a flu-like illness with fever, decreased energy, swollen lymph nodes, and body aches. Within a few days after these symptoms, a rash may also develop.

The risk of infection in the general public is low; however, certain behavioral factors increase the risk of infection and its transmission. Monkeypox is spread person-to-person primarily through contact with sores, scabs, or body fluids for example while kissing, hugging, massaging, or having sexual activity. It can infect anyone regardless of age, gender identity, or sexual orientation.

Monkeypox can also spread through contact with objects, fabrics, and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox. Although less common, it can also be transmitted through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact.

Please visit our monkeypox webpage for more information.

What can I do to protect myself?

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person diagnosed with monkeypox has used.
  • Wash your hands often.

Butte County Public Health has a very limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine and is working with healthcare providers to identify and provide the vaccine to high-risk individuals only, such as a person who has been in close contact with someone suspected or confirmed to have monkeypox. Currently, you cannot request or receive a vaccine without seeing a healthcare provider.

What should I do if I believe I have been exposed to monkeypox?

Avoid close contact with others and monitor your health for symptoms. Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus.

What should I do if I suspect I might have monkeypox?

  • Isolate from othersuntil you have been assessed by a healthcare professional. Cover any rashes with clothing and wear a mask. Avoid close contact with pets. People with monkeypox should isolate until the entirety of their rash has resolved, scabs have fallen off, and their skin is fully healed. This may take 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Employees: Contact your primary care provider.
  • Students: Contact the WellCat Health Centeror your primary care provider. 
  • Let your healthcare provider know that you think you might have monkeypox, as additional infection prevention precautions need to be taken prior to your visit.

Infections associated with monkeypox have been primarily treated at home with over-the-counter medications. In most cases, patients have not required hospitalization, and life-threatening illnesses or deaths are rare. 

What is Chico State University doing to prepare for monkeypox?

  • WellCat Health Center will be working with Butte County Public Health to identify and vaccinate high-risk students only.
  • We are educating students and employees on monkeypox.
  • WellCat Health Center will be offering testing to students currently at a cost of $100 per swab. Each patient typically needs 2 to 4 swabs from skin lesions.
  • Isolation protocols for students residing in University Housing are under development.
  • The pandemic management team will continue to monitor our campus and surrounding community transmission levels and provide updates that are informed by public health best practices. 

Decreasing Stigma Around Monkeypox

Misinformation is already prevalent regarding monkeypox. It is not a sexually transmitted disease nor is it isolated to certain communities—anyone can get monkeypox regardless of age, race, sexuality, gender identity, or other characteristics. As an inclusive campus community, we have a shared responsibility to refrain from using stigmatizing words or actions related to the monkeypox virus. It is important we share factual information so that people can make the best decisions for their health and the health of our community.

Information about monkeypox is evolving, and guidance may change. For more information on local case numbers, symptoms, transmission risk, prevention and treatment, visit: