HUHS Is Monitoring the International Monkeypox Outbreak

July 27, 2022

Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) is monitoring the rise in monkeypox cases which prompted the World Health Organization to issue a global health emergency. Thousands in the United States have contracted the illness, and more than 70 cases have been identified in Massachusetts.  

Monkeypox symptoms include a pimple or blister-like rash as well as fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. Once a rash is present, the virus becomes contagious. The illness can spread through several pathways, including intimate contact (kissing, cuddling, and sex); direct contact with infectious rashes, scabs, or body fluids; and touching items (linens and clothing) previously touched by an infectious rash or body fluids. More on the illness can be found on the CDC’s monkeypox webpage.  

This is an evolving situation that HUHS is closely watching to best implement health and safety measures that protect our community. Massachusetts’ Department of Public Health is also building capacity for testing, treatment, and vaccinations (limited availability).  

For the safety of others in the building, students and other HUHS patients seeking evaluation for suspected monkeypox infection or exposure should contact us at (617) 495-5711 for triage and instructions rather than coming in person.