Wisconsin Department of Health Services fact sheet Monkeypox: What College Students Need to Know

Since May 14, 2022, monkeypox has been spreading from person to person in countries where the virus is usually not found, including the United States.  Wisconsin has confirmed cases of orthopoxvirus, presumed to be monkeypox, in Wisconsin residents. View current case counts.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness. The monkeypox virus is from the same family of viruses as the smallpox virus. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but are less severe. It is also less transmissible than smallpox and rarely fatal. 


Monkeypox is typically characterized by a new, unexplained rash that develops into characteristic hard, round, fluid- or pus-filled skin lesions. Other early symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills

The monkeypox rash develops within one to three days after fever. However, some people may experience a rash or sores first, followed by other symptoms. Some people may also only develop a rash.

How is it spread?

The monkeypox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox.

​What else you need to know

  • You can take steps to prevent getting monkeypox and lower your risk.

  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox.

  • If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.  Students may call the UW-Stevens Point Student Health Service at (715) 346-4646.

  • If diagnosed with monkeypox, notify your close contacts and isolate while having symptoms and until the rash has fully healed.  

UWSP Student Health Service 



Monkeypox (CDC)

Institutions of Higher Education Resources (CDC)

Monkeypox in Wisconsin (Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services)


5 Things to Know about Monkeypox (CDC)

Page last reviewed: August 24, 2022
Page last updated: August 24, 2022