Infectious Diseases

Keep informed about infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and Monkey Pox and know the symptoms, how to care for, how to prevent, and frequently asked questions about these infectious diseases.

Symptoms of Coronavirus:

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the following may be signs of coronavirus:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath of difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • New loss of taste of smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Diarrhea

Accessing medical care:

All students with symptoms or exposure to COVID-19 should isolate and call the Health Center at 607-436-3573 for consideration of diagnostic testing. 

If the student Health Center is closed, and you are experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID-19, please see the Emergencies and After Hours Concerns page for a list of local resources. 

Types of testing:

Asymptomatic students who wish to have testing done for routine surveillance reasons may present to pool testing. Pool testing is available for asymptomatic students . For up to date testing dates and times please see the fall planning page under testing. Students need to preregister online. For additional testing questions please email:  The Student Health Center has the ability to perform rapid and send out laboratory testing for COVID-19 when medically indicated. Send out laboratory tests are available in 2-5 days. 

  • Antigen (results within 15 minutes or less) testing can be performed at the Health Center, local Pharmacy's, doctor's office, or with a Home Covid-19 test kit. These are not as accurate and are most sensitive if tested in a 3-5 day window after exposure or when experiencing symptoms. This test is for asymptomatic or symptomatic people.
  • Rapid molecular PCR (results within 15 minutes) testing can be performed at the Health Center or doctor's office. These tests are most accurate within 7 days of symptom onset. This test is for symptomatic people.
  • RT-PCR send out (results within 2-5 days) and will require Quarantine until the test results return. These tests are the most accurate. Can be performed at the Health Center, doctor's office, local Pharmacy's, testing sites and through pool testing. This test may continue to be positive for up to 90 days. This test is for asymptomatic and symptomatic people.  

Preventing COVID-19:

Receiving a negative COVID-19 test results is reassuring, but negative results are only a snapshot in time. A negative test today does not mean a negative test tomorrow. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention the following are ways to protect yourself and others:

  • Wash your hand often
  • Avoid close contact
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a mask when around others
  • Cover coughs and sneezes
  • Clean and disinfect
  • Monitor your health daily

Frequently Asked Questions

What is quarantine/isolation?

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Quarantine separates and restricts the movement of people who were exposed to a contagious disease to see if they become sick. Isolation separates sick people with a contagious disease from people who are not sick. 

What does close contact mean?

According the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic patients, 2 days prior to specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated. 

After testing positive for COVID-19, when should I retest?

Information is rapidly evolving, and some information is limited due to this. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, data to date show a person who has had and recovered from COVID-19 may continue to have low levels of virus in their bodies for up to 3 months after initial diagnosis. This means that if you have recovered from COVID-19 and are retested within three months, you may continue to have a positive test result, even though you are not spreading COVID-19. 

I already had COVID-19 but have symptoms again. What should I do?

If you have recovered from COVID-19 and have new symptoms of COVID-19, you may need an evaluation for reinfection. You should isolate and contact the Health Center to be evaluated for other causes of your symptoms, and possibly retest. 

How should I deal with the stress of the pandemic?

There has been a nationwide uptick in mental health and wellness brought on by COVID-19. Please remember, we are all in this together! The counseling center is staffed and ready to assist students and can be contacted at 607-436-3368.  Additionally, State University of New York has launched a new plan to expand access to mental health services – ‘Reach out SUNY’.


Monkeypox is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus belongs to the same genus as variola virus (which causes smallpox) and cowpox virus. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Monkeypox infection follows one of three patterns: flu-like symptoms and a rash 1-2 days later; a rash followed by flu-like symptoms 1-2 days later; and sometimes only a rash can occur. Once the rash develops the person continues to be contagious until the scabs separate and a fresh layer of skin forms. You can visit the CDC website for more information: Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC

Prevention of Monkeypox Transmission:

The mode of transmission of Monkeypox occurs through Person-to-Person contact. 

  • wash your hands frequently and thoroughly
  • avoid direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • avoid respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • avoid touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • practice safe sex, including the use of condoms and dental dams 100% of the time
  • wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose when you are around others
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces
  • pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
  • avoid contact with infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal

Exposure Characteristics:

HIGH risk:

  • Monitor symptoms for 21 days after exposure, take temperature twice daily
  • Unprotected contact between a person's skin or mucous membranes and the skin, lesions, or body fluids from a patient or contaminated material (linens, clothing, dressings)
  • Being inside an infected persons room or within 6 feet of a person during any aerosols oral secretions (such as a cough, vomit), skin lesions, or shaking of soiled linens without an N95 mask or eye protection on
  • Exposure that the local Department of Health determines high risk


  • Monitor symptoms for 21 days after exposure, take temperature twice daily
  • Being within 6 feet for 3 hours or more of an unmasked person without wearing, at minimum a surgical mask OR-
  • Activities resulting in contract between sleeves and other parts of an individual's clothing and the person's skin lesions or body fluids, or their soiled linens or dressings OR-
  • Exposure that the local Department of Health determines intermediate risk


  • Monitor symptoms for 21 days after exposure, take temperature twice daily
  • Entered an infected person's room without wearing eye protection on one or more occasions, regardless of duration of exposure; OR-
  • During all entries in the infected person's room with the correct personal protective equipment (gown, gloves, eye protection, and a minimum of surgical masks); OR-
  • Being within 6 feet of an unmasked person for less than 3 hours without wearing a minimum of a surgical mask; OR-
  • Exposure that the local Department of Health determines low risk

Signs & Symptoms of Monkeypox can vary, but include:

  • fever >= 100.4 degrees F (38 degrees C)
  • chills
  • headaches
  • muscle aches and backache
  • exhaustion
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • vesicular/pustular rash (red raised pussy rash) that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other body parts, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus

Warning Symptoms:

Uncommon but serious complications of monkeypox can occur. The following monkeypox symptoms should trigger you to call an ambulance and proceed to the nearest emergency room (NOT to call and get an appointment with the SUNY Oneonta Health Center):

  • Uncontrollable nausea/vomiting
  • Confusion/decreased level of consciousness
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Severe shortness of breath
  • New or worsening chest pain
  • Eye redness or pain (pox lesion in the eye)
  • Blurred vision in one or both eyes
  • Progressive redness, swelling, or pain in area of skin with lesions

Suspected Case:

  • New onset of suspected Monkeypox rash (similar to secondary syphilis, herpes, and varicella zoster - shingles) should be tested

EPIDEMIOLOGIC CRITERIA (within 21 days of illness onset):

  • Reports having contact with a person or people with a similar appearing rash or who received a diagnosis of confirmed or probable monkeypox
  • Had close or intimate in-person contact with individuals in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men (MSM) who meet partners through an online website, digital application, or social event OR 
  • Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that is an African endemic species or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)

Exclusion Criteria: A case may be excluded as a suspect, probable, or confirmed case if:

  1. An alternative diagnosis can fully explain the illness OR
  2. An individual with symptoms consistent with monkeypox does not develop a rash within 5 days of illness OR
  3. A case where high-quality specimens do not demonstrate the presence of Orthopoxvirus or Monkeypox virus​​​​​​

Contagious Period:

A person with monkeypox may be contagious as soon as symptoms start. They are no longer contagious when all of the skin lesions have healed, the scabs have fallen off ALL skin lesions, and an intact layer of new skin under the scab is present. The progression from symptom onset to the end of the contagious period is typically 2-4 weeks.

Incubation Period:

The incubation period for monkeypox is 17 - 14 days. It is recommended that people monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days after an exposure. 

Self-Monitoring After Exposure:

People should not donate blood, cells, tissue, breast milk, semen, or organs. They should check their temperature with a thermometer twice daily, and if a temperature >= 100.4 degrees F or a new rash occurs, they should self-isolate and seek medical attention. If ONLY chills or swollen glands occur, they should:

  • Self-isolate and seek medical attention if fever or rash develop within the next 24 hours
  • If fever or rash do NOT develop, but the swollen glands and chills persist, they should seek medical attention
  • If all symptoms resolve within 24 hrs, they may stop their self-isolation and return to normal activities

Accessing Medical Care:

All students with symptoms or exposure to Monkeypox should call the Health Center or seek medical attention off campus for diagnostic testing, examination, and instructions for isolation.

Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone who has symptoms of monkeypox or has traveled to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox is endemic, is at risk for infection. 

Health Center visit:

  • Call to make an appointment
  • Student will be asked screening questions and given an appointment
  • Arrive at the health center and call in to announce arrival; go to the side entrance back of parking lot
  • Someone will come to let you in when they are available and take you to a clinic room
  • Vital signs will be taken, verification of your medications/allergies and a brief history of presenting illness will be asked
  • Exam will be performed by a Provider
  • Depending on symptoms you may have multiple tests performed (e.g., sore throat - rapid strep test; fever without rash - rapid flu/covid test; rash - two lesions may be swabbed with several Q-tip devises). The lesion test has to be sent out to a special lab and will take 2-3 days for results to return. You will be notified via phone or secure messaged through the health portal of your results.
  • Depending on symptoms and presentation of illness people may be sent home to isolate (see isolation section)

Isolation: (Students will be sent home to isolate)

People who develop Monkeypox must isolate until they are no longer contagious. The county health department will manage the isolation for infected persons, with SUNY Oneonta assisting their efforts. People should expect the isolation to last 2 - 4 weeks. Isolation may be discontinued when ALL skin lesions have resolved, the crusts have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. 

Home Isolation Instruction:

Please visit the CDC guidelines: Isolation and Infection Control: Home | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC


Treatment for mild to moderate cases is supportive care. There are no specific medications available to bring about a cure. There are medications that may be used off-label for monkeypox, but this is only done for persons hospitalized with severe illness.


All student information held at the Health Center is strictly confidential and will not be released without written or phone consent by the student and/or as required by law. Students under 18 years of age, must have parental permission to be seen and treated at the Health Center except for emergency situations, emancipated minors, or reproductive health issues.


Health and Wellness Center

Phone: (607) 436-3573

Fax: (607) 436-2074


Monday: 8:00 am - 4:30pm
Tuesday: 8:00 am - 4:30pm
Wednesday: 8:00 am - 4:30pm
Thursday: 8:00 am - 4:30pm
Friday: 8:00 am - 4:30pm

The Health Center will be closed on Thanksgiving and Friday, November 25th, the day after Thanksgiving. If you are in need of urgent care the WellNow Urgent Care Center (phone # 607-376-5346) and Oneonta Convenient Care Clinic (phone # 607-433-6400) will be open.


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