Health & Wellness
Health Services
August 12, 2022
Monkeypox FAQ

Monkeypox Guidance for Undergraduate Students

Announcements

Dear Brown Students,

We are writing with information about the monkeypox virus, which on August 4 was declared a public health emergency in the U.S. While the University is not aware of any cases on campus, we are closely monitoring the evolving national public health situation and providing important information on managing exposure to help our community be proactive in monitoring for symptoms and taking steps for care and prevention.

Monkeypox (orthopoxvirus) is a viral illness that spreads between individuals through close, personal, skin-to-skin contact. In the last few months, there have been thousands of monkeypox cases reported throughout the majority of U.S. states and territories, including dozens of cases in Rhode Island. 

Prevention and Vaccination

Monkeypox can cause a rash, which may look like blisters or bumps on your skin, as well as fever, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. Individuals may limit exposure to the virus by minimizing prolonged intimate skin-to-skin contact during social gatherings, avoiding sharing bedding or clothing, and reducing their number of sex partners. 

A vaccine to prevent monkeypox is currently being distributed to states. Although the vaccine is currently in limited supply, supplies are expected to increase. We encourage students who are eligible to obtain the monkeypox vaccination in their home states to become vaccinated prior to arrival on campus, or upon return to campus if eligible through the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH). Please visit the RIDOH page on monkeypox to learn about availability and to view requirements for vaccine eligibility.

Managing Symptoms and Exposures

If you think you may have been exposed to monkeypox or if symptoms suggestive of monkeypox develop, call Health Services at 401-863-3953 to schedule an appointment with a provider as soon as possible. During this call, share that you have a new or unexplained rash or are concerned you might have monkeypox. Clinical providers in Health and Wellness are available to see students who have symptoms, known exposure, or concern about monkeypox and will provide safe and confidential student-centered care. Students who have symptoms suggestive of monkeypox will be required to isolate in accordance with CDC and RIDOH guidelines. Undergraduate students will then be connected with Student Support Services to receive support and resource referrals pertaining to a variety of needs including academic concerns, communication with course instructors, dining and other needs.The University will support on-campus students with available temporary isolation housing, but given the length of isolation for this illness, travel home will be an important consideration whenever possible. 

Please consult the comprehensive FAQ we have posted on the Health Services website with information about the virus, requirements if you develop symptoms, and the preventative and response measures that we will be implementing on campus. We will be supplementing this information as the public health situation evolves. 

Additional Resources

We recommend the following resources:

Our foremost priority is the well-being of students, and we look forward to welcoming you to campus for the fall semester.

Sincerely,

Dr. Vanessa Britto
Associate Vice President for Health and Wellness