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Monkeypox Guidance and Resources for the Wentworth Community

Wentworth staff are actively monitoring Monkeypox developments locally as well as internationally and will continue to modify recommendations as more information becomes available. The university has response plans in place and will adjust as needed. 

We have compiled information related to Monkeypox here, but also direct individuals seeking additional information to please visit: 

Signs and Symptoms

  • Infected individuals may experience some of the following symptoms: fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, fatigue, congestion, cough, sore throat, and rash.  

  • Infected individuals may develop a rash consisting of one or multiple lesions. The rash associated with Monkeypox may be located on the genitals, hands, feet, chest, or face, and may be painful or itchy. The rash may alter in appearance as it progresses through phases and may appear as blisters or scabs.  

How Monkeypox Is Spread

The infection is spread through direct skin-to-skin contact (such as sexual or intimate contact, including kissing) while a person is infected, through prolonged face-to-face interaction, or by contact with an infected individual’s clothing, bedding, towels, or other contaminated objects. 

The best way to protect yourself from Monkeypox is to avoid skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash that looks like Monkeypox. 

Exposure and Testing

Currently, the only way to test for Monkeypox is if an individual presents with lesions. Lesions can be swabbed and sent for testing during different stages of healing.  

If you or someone you know is experiencing a rash as described above or if you have had contact with a person diagnosed with Monkeypox, please follow specific guidance from your healthcare provider and local public health department. 

  • Students should notify Optum Student Health Services at 617-879-5220. 

  • Employees should notify their Primary Care Provider of their exposure.  

 

If you think you have Monkeypox, cover all parts of the rash with clothing, gloves, or bandages, and wear a mask. Remember to:  

  • Avoid touching anyone until you have been to the doctor and determined to not be infected. 

  • If your test result is positive, follow your healthcare provider’s recommendations.

  • Wash your hands often and try not to touch your eyes. If you wear contact lenses, wear glasses instead, if possible, to avoid infecting your eyes. 

  • Do not share towels, bedding, clothing or other items that could touch infected skin. 

  • Stay in a space away from others until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed. This may mean wearing a mask around others in the place you live and cleaning and disinfecting frequently.  

  • You should try to avoid contact with pets and with people who are more likely to get very sick, like children under 8 years old, people who are pregnant, and people who have weakened immune systems or certain skin conditions. 

  • If you are sexually active, talk to your partner about any recent illnesses. Be aware of any new or unexplained rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including the genitals and buttocks. If you or your partner have recently been sick, currently have symptoms of monkeypox, or have a new or unexplained rash, do not kiss, cuddle, hug, touch each other’s genitals, or have oral, vaginal, or anal sex. 

Isolation

If you are experiencing symptoms, including lesions, please isolate yourself from others immediately and do not report to work or school until you are evaluated and cleared to do so by a healthcare professional.  The typical isolation period following a diagnosis of Monkeypox is 2-4 weeks. 

If You Are Diagnosed with Monkeypox

  • You must continue to isolate yourself and should not attend work, classes, or other in-person activities until cleared by a medical professional.

  • Students living within driving distance of home should prepare to return home for the duration of their isolation period. Transport will need to be by private vehicles as individuals with Monkeypox cannot utilize public transportation.  

  • Students living on campus far from home should work with Optum Student Health Services and the Center for Wellness around alternative areas to isolate. 

  • Discuss treatment options and the duration of isolation with your healthcare provider. 

Missing School or Work

Students who need to miss school due to being in isolation should complete this Absence Notification Form.

Employees who need to miss work due to being in isolation should contact Melanie DeSantis or Andrew Cooley in Employee Relations and Engagement. Faculty members should also notify their academic dean of an extended absence.  

You do not need to disclose your diagnosis to your instructors or supervisors. 

How Wentworth is Preparing

  • Wentworth has taken preventative measures to increase cleaning and disinfecting of campus facilities. 

  • In the event a community member is diagnosed with Monkeypox, additional cleaning and disinfecting will be conducted in spaces identified as being exposed to Monkeypox. 

  • Alternative isolation spaces for students who cannot travel home are being identified. 

  • Wentworth is involved in ongoing communication with Optum Student Health Services, other Colleges of the Fenway administrators, and the Department of Public Health to ensure coordinated support for campus needs related to Monkeypox.

Questions

If you have a specific concern that this page does not address or you are seeking additional information, please utilize the following resources: 

Frequently Asked Questions about Monkeypox

  • What should individuals do if they suspect they have Monkeypox?

    If a student suspects they have Monkeypox, they should contact Optum Student Health Services at 617-879-5220. Faculty and staff who suspect they have Monkeypox should contact their primary care doctor. If students need to miss classes, they do not need to disclose the reason to their instructors, but they should let their course instructors know that they will be absent due to illness and complete the Absence Notification Form. Faculty and staff needing to miss work should notify Employee Relations and Engagement as well as their supervisor.  

  • How can individuals get tested for Monkeypox if they are showing symptoms?

    If an individual has an exposure or develops symptoms (fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash resembling pimples or blisters anywhere on the body), they should contact Optum Student Health Services at 617-879-5220 or their primary care physician (PCP) to learn about testing for Monkeypox. 

  • If an individual is diagnosed with Monkeypox, what steps should they take to notify Wentworth?

    A person diagnosed with Monkeypox should avoid close contact with others, wear a well-fitting mask and make sure that the rash is completely covered. Residential students diagnosed with Monkeypox should contact Optum Student Health Services to receive guidance on next steps related to treatment. living within driving distance should make plans to return home without using public transportation and will isolate at home. 

    Faculty and staff diagnosed with Monkeypox and needing to miss work due to isolating at home should contact Employee Relations and Engagement as well as their supervisor.  Faculty and staff should follow the medical guidance of their PCP. 

  • What precautions can an individual take to reduce their chances of contracting Monkeypox?

    • 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 with monkeypox has used.
    • Wash your hands often.