Mpox is a viral disease that has been declared a public health emergency, both nationally by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and globally by the World Health Organization. The first case in Franklin County was diagnosed in June 2022.

All members of the university community are encouraged to learn about symptoms, how to protect yourself and what to do if you are exposed to mpox from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health authorities.

CDC Mpox Resources

Symptoms of mpox

  • People with mpox may experience a rash and/or flu-like symptoms.
  • Rash and skin lesions may be present in any localized area on the body (e.g., hands, genitals, face, around or inside the mouth) or may be disseminated across multiple areas of the body.
  • Other symptoms often include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, fatigue and body aches may or may not be present.

How mpox spreads

  • Mpox primarily spreads through close contact between people, including sex and other activities that include skin-to-skin contact.
  • It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during kissing and other prolonged, face-to-face contact.
  • The virus also can be spread through indirect contact (such as towels that have been used by someone with mpox).

What to do if you have symptoms

  • If you are experiencing a rash, skin lesion or other associated symptoms, contact your primary health-care provider to have them determine if your symptoms are consistent with mpox and if you need to be tested. If you don’t have a primary health care provider, you may access an Ohio State Wexner Medical Center walk-in/same-day immediate care site
  • Until you have been checked out by a health-care provider, wear gloves and a mask and avoid close contact with anyone, including sex or other intimate contact.
  • If your test is positive, you will be advised by local public health officials about proper isolation and other safety protocols.

What to do if you are exposed

  • If you are aware that you have been in close contact with someone with mpox, contact your primary health-care provider or local public health agency to be evaluated.
  • If you are identified through contact tracing as having been exposed, you will be directly notified by local public health officials. 
  • If you have been exposed, wear gloves and a mask when you are near others and avoid close contact with anyone, including sex or other intimate contact until you have been checked out by a health care provider.

Mpox vaccination

The Mpox vaccine is available in limited quantities through Student Health Services on the Columbus campus and at Columbus Public Health, Equitas Health and Central Outreach. Most providers offer appointments on a week by week basis, so it may be necessary to regularly check their websites for availability.