Pox Virus Information

Pox Virus Nomenclature: It is important to note that we acknowledge the racist implications embedded in how diseases are named and the impact this can have on how people view the disease and those who contract it. You will see us link to websites and share information from various public health organizations that refer to this virus as Monkeypox. Internally we are choosing to refer to it as the Pox Virus until a new naming convention is universally adopted. Please see below for more information.


How It Spreads

This virus is rare and primarily spreads through close personal contact.


Signs and Symptoms

Read the details on the symptoms. (see below for an overview)

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Learn how you can make informed choices when in spaces or situations where there could be spread.

It is important to keep yourself informed about the cause and spread of this virus. This rare disease is caused by an orthopoxvirus (pox) virus that was first recorded to infect humans in 1970 and is endemic in some areas of the world. The current outbreak began in May 2022 and spread to countries that have not typically seen cases of the virus, including the US.

From the CDC: What You Need to Know about Monkeypox if You are a Teen or Young Adult
From ACHA: Safe Return to Campus: Preparing for Monkeypox and COVID-19

Pox Virus Self-Disclosure Form

This form should be used by Arcadia students or employees (faculty and staff) who are confirmed by Department of Health close contacts, waiting on test results, or have received a positive test. Whether you are working from home or have been on campus, you should use this form accordingly. Submissions are considered confidential and will not be shared in detail.

I’ve reported my pending or positive test. What’s the next step?

Once you self-report you will be contacted by a member of the Arcadia University Healthy Knights team shortly. This team will work with you and local health officials. 

As per the health and safety guidelines from the Montgomery County Health Department and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you must isolate yourself if you are waiting on test results or test positive.  Individuals who have a known exposure will work with local health officials, and Arcadia if applicable, for monitoring and other response measures based on CDC guidance

Signs and Symptoms  

People with this pox virus get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.

How long do the symptoms last?

  • Symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.
  • The virus can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

If You Have a New or Unexplained Rash or Other Symptoms...

  • Avoid close contact, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider.
  • If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.
  • When you see a healthcare provider, wear a mask, and remind them that this virus is circulating in the area.

More information about protecting yourself is available from the CDC, including Safer Sex & Social Gatherings and Pets & Monkeypox.

Arcadia University's Response

Arcadia Care Team

  • Arcadia has a response team convened to monitor the spread and treatment of this virus.
  • The University maintains close connections with our local health services, including Montgomery County and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, to guide our planning and decision-making. 
  • Arcadia's Health Services is ready to provide education and information about the virus in its offices, webinars for the community, and educational programs. 

Campus Awareness and Cleanliness

  • Arcadia's facilities and housekeeping team are trained on the latest cleaning and disinfecting processes effective against this virus and will continue to be educated as supplies and products are recommended. 
  • Common grouping areas in buildings will be cleaned regularly by housekeeping with special attention to high-touch areas and surfaces. 
  • Disinfects and wipes will be readily available in key areas such as classrooms, restrooms, residence halls, cafes, and

You Play an Important Role

  • Employees and students are responsible for personal and residential cleanliness if they live on campus. 
  • Everyone should take responsibility for wiping down areas as they use space and leave surfaces. 
  • Stay on top of the latest and pay attention to symptoms.

If You Think You Have Symptoms

Students who are experiencing symptoms, including flu-like symptoms or a rash, should immediately isolate and call Student Health Services for an appointment at 215-572-2966 before coming to the office.  

Contact your health care provider and speak to your supervisor, and remain home and away from campus. You can also contact MCOPH at 610-278-5117 or MCOPHMPX@montcopa.org for help getting tested. 

More Information

Tracking Cases:

Vaccination information:

  • Montgomery County (PA)
    Currently, people who are eligible for the Monkeypox vaccine include people 18 years old and older who meet one of the following:
    - People who are a close contact with someone who has Monkeypox
    - People who have a high risk of having been exposed.  
    MCOPH is currently offering free Monkeypox vaccine by appointment only for people who are eligible to get vaccinated. If you think you are eligible or have questions about eligibility, contact MCOPH at 610-278-5117 to confirm eligibility, and if eligible schedule an appointment.
  • Pennsylvania
    If you think you have been exposed, or if you have participated in activities that may have put you at risk of exposure, please contact your healthcare provider, your local health department, or 877-PA-HEALTH to help you evaluate your risk and tell you where to get a monkeypox vaccine in Pennsylvania.

Pox Virus Nomenclature 

While WHO has renamed two of its variants, they have yet to settle on a new name for the disease.  At this crucial time for the conveying of information about disease, how it spreads, and what people can do to protect themselves from the virus, we, therefore, will continue to use this term and refer students and employees to sites that use this term.

We urge people, however, to educate themselves on the racist implications embedded in how diseases are named and the impact this can have on how people view the disease and those who contract it.  Arcadia University will adopt the new name as soon as there is scientific consensus on the new nomenclature.

Mental Health and Medical Care


TimelyCare is a 24/7 telehealth and wellness service that provides care whenever and wherever you need it.  Available to all full-time graduate and undergraduate students, it significantly expands the medical and mental health coverage provided to Arcadia University students.

Contact Us

Student Health Services

Contact Information

215-572-2966 (office)
215-881-8787 (fax)
SHS@arcadia.edu (for non-emergency inquiries only)
Emergencies: 215-572-2999