This image provided by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) shows a colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (red) found within an infected cell (blue), cultured in the laboratory that was captured and color-enhanced at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Md. With monkeypox cases subsiding in Europe and parts of North America in 2022, many scientists say now is the time to prioritize stopping the virus in Africa. (NIAID via AP, File)

Elias Lilienfeld Quevedo, Staff Writer

What is it?

According to the Harris County Public Health Office (HCPH), monkeypox is a zoonotic disease (transmitted from animals to humans) that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. This virus started in parts of Africa and has begun to spread to different countries.

How does it spread?

Houston Health Department stated that even though monkeypox is not considered a sexually transmitted disease, it can spread during close physical contact between people. This contact can occur during sex. It can also spread if you have contact with the infected person’s monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs, as well as bedsheets or towels.


It is important to know that the symptoms usually start within two weeks of exposure to the virus. As reported by the HCPH, within one to three days after the appearance of fever, people will develop rashes or sores. Other symptoms can include headaches, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

What to do if you have been infected?

If you believed you have been infected with the monkeypox virus, do not panic. Stay home and contact your health provider. You should also contact the HCPH hotline at 832-927-0707 for guidance and information. Also, do not forget to contact your professors if you must miss classes.

When monkeypox appeared, it seemed like a widespread resurgence of Covid-19 was imminent. Thankfully, that is not the case. Nevertheless, as students, we are exposed to having contact with many different people and we need to know what we are dealing with.

As of now, there have been 700 confirmed cases reported in Harris County, and even though that number may seem small, we must remain cautious. Keeping our school and the people we care about safe is our responsibility.