Monkeypox: What to Know

New York State has declared a public health emergency related to the monkeypox outbreak. This is an evolving situation that RIT and the Student Health Center are monitoring closely to best serve and protect our campus community. We will continue to update this page with new information as it becomes available.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus. The most prominent symptom is a rash, which may change over days from bumps to pustules or blisters. Symptoms can also include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and respiratory symptoms. The disease is usually mild, though pain and scarring may occur in more complicated cases.

How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with a rash or body fluids of an infected person. It could also spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face or physical contact with an infected person, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. Monkeypox can spread from the time when symptoms start until a person’s rash is completely healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

What to do if you are concerned about exposure or symptoms?

Students should reach out to the Student Health Center to be evaluated, as there is vaccination, testing, and treatment available. Students can reach out by calling our office at 585-475-2255 or through patient chat to be evaluated and/or schedule an appointment.

Is there a vaccine? Am I eligible?

There are currently two vaccines, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000, that are available in very limited supply. To learn more about eligibility requirements and any future vaccination clinics, please visit the Monroe County Department of Health website.

How is the campus preparing?

RIT is closely monitoring this evolving situation and working closely with the local health department to keep our campus community informed and healthy. Student Health Center staff will work with other RIT departments to support academic continuity for affected individuals.

More Information:


At this time, LGBTQ+ individuals have been disproportionately impacted by the monkeypox outbreak. Support can be found through Counseling and Psychological Services and the Q Center.  RIT supports all members of our community and will not tolerate harassment or discrimination.