• What is MPOX and is it new?

MPOX is a viral illness. It is not a new virus. It is closely related to the smallpox virus family and was first discovered in 1958 among laboratory monkeys. Although smallpox was eradicated in the United States in 1972, MPOX is now making a comeback, prompting the WHO to declare it a global health emergency and the U.S. to declare it a public health emergency. The virus is rare, but given its comeback, the World Health Organization has declared it a public Health Emergency.

  • Who is it affecting?

MPOX can affect any person who comes in contact with the virus. Currently, men who have sex with men are being disproportionately affected. Fortunately, MPOX does not spread as easily as COVID-19 or the flu. It is important to understand that anyone can become infected with MPOX, so everyone should take the proper precautions. In general, the virus is transmitted through prolonged direct and personal contact with someone who is infected, including intimate contact (e.g., kissing, cuddling, sex) or contact with rashes, scabs, body fluids. Learn more about how the virus is spread by visiting The CDC website.

  • How does it spread?

MPOX does not spread as easily as COVID-19 or the Flu. The virus is transmitted through prolonged face-to-face contact, skin-to-skin contact with infected body fluids (e.g., fluid from rash), or contaminated materials (e.g., shared towels, contaminated bedding). The incubation period is 4-17 days, but a person may transmit the virus 1-4 days prior to symptom onset.

  • What are signs and symptoms of MPOX and how long do they last?

Symptoms of the virus include:

  • A pimple or blister-like rash
  • Fever, chills, and fatigue
  • Muscle aches, backache, and swollen lymph nodes
  • Additional information on symptoms as well as images of the MPOX rash can be found here.

Symptoms typically last two to four weeks. The majority of MPOX cases experience mild to moderate symptoms, although rarely it can be fatal, especially in places with inadequate health care. If you notice a new rash or other MPOX symptoms, contact the Health Center immediately (860.297.2018) to let us know of your symptoms and concerns for MPOX.

  • How to get tested for MPOX?

You can only be tested for MPOX if you have a rash. If you believe you might have MPOX please first call the Health Center to schedule an appointment for testing. During your appointment, the healthcare provider will swab the lesions and send a sample to the laboratory. The provider will contact you once your results are back.

  • What you can do to protect yourself?
    • Be aware of a new rash on you or your partner’s body
    • See a healthcare provider if you are experiencing symptoms
    • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like MPOX
    • Limit your number of sexual partners
      • Condoms may help if rash/sores are confined to genitals/anus; however, condoms alone are likely not enough to prevent MPOX
    • Additional information on modes of transmission can be found here.
  • Vaccine and treatment options for MPOX?
    • There are vaccines against MPOX available for those who qualify. Vaccines are available in the Hartford area at InterCommunity and the Gay and Lesbian Health Collective (call for an appointment) for those who meet current eligibility requirements.
      • Current available vaccines include JYNNEOS and ACAM2000.
    • Please reference the CDC’s Vaccination Recommendations for more information on the available vaccines and to see if you should consider getting vaccinated.
    • Since MPOX and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, vaccines and antiviral medications already developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat MPOX infections. Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, such as patients with weakened immune systems.
  • Where to find more, helpful information on MPOX?
    • For the most up-to-date information, any questions or concerns, please contact the Health Center and speak with a healthcare professional. You may also refer to the CDC for disease related information and to the Connecticut Department of Public Health for local vaccination locations.
  • What is Trinity doing to prevent the spread?
    • The college is working closely with the Connecticut Department of Public Health and our medical partner, Hartford HealthCare, to facilitate the process of identifying infected individuals, providing MPOX testing, acquiring vaccine for those who meet eligibility requirements, and offering treatment options as medically indicated.
    • While the risk to the campus community currently remains low, we are preparing for the possibility of MPOX cases on campus and will continue to keep the campus community informed about this and any other public health risks.
    • All of us play a role in keeping our campus safe. Please familiarize yourself with information  CDC website about the virus, how it spreads, and what to do if you think you have come in contact with someone who may be infected or experience symptoms yourself.

If you notice a new rash or other MPOX symptoms, contact the Health Center  immediately (860.297.2018) to let us know of your symptoms and concerns for MPOX.  For the safety of others, please do not go directly to the Health Center without calling first.