Mount Sinai Employee Health Services (EHS) provides telephonic consults for Mount Sinai employees who are ill with monkeypox or concerned about a monkeypox exposure and who need clearance to return to work.
Here is what to do if you are experiencing monkeypox-like symptoms or have recently been exposed to monkeypox.
If you are experiencing acute symptoms or have had a positive monkeypox test, please do not report to work. Report your illness to EHS. You may need to isolate for up to 28 days from the time you develop symptoms until you are no longer infectious.
If you have had an intermediate or high-risk exposure to monkeypox, in your work or personal life, please report it to EHS using this form. An EHS staffer will contact you with further instructions, which will include daily symptom monitoring and reporting, but you may continue to work as long as you are asymptomatic. If you later develop symptoms of monkeypox (i.e., fever, fatigue, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a new rash), report it to EHS and contact your health care provider to determine the best place for you to get tested and treated. Mount Sinai Health System providers are also available to evaluate you and treat you.
At work, the following constitute intermediate or high-risk exposures to patients with monkeypox:
- Unprotected contact between your skin or mucous membranes and the skin, lesions, or bodily fluids from a patient (e.g., inadvertent splashes of patient saliva to the eyes or oral cavity of a person, ungloved contact with patient), or contaminated materials (e.g., linens, clothing)
- Being inside the patient’s room or within six feet of a patient during any procedures that may create aerosols from oral secretions, skin lesions, or resuspension of dried exudates (e.g., shaking of soiled linens), without wearing an N95 or equivalent respirator (or higher) and eye protection
- Being within six feet for three hours or more of an unmasked patient without wearing, at a minimum, a surgical mask
- Activities resulting in contact between sleeves and other parts of an individual’s clothing and the patient’s skin lesions or bodily fluids, or their soiled linens or dressings (e.g., turning, bathing, or assisting with transfer) while wearing gloves but not wearing a gown
If you had any of the exposures listed above, you need to contact EHS, as a referral can be made to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene for post-exposure prophylaxis with the JYNNEOS vaccine. This vaccine is FDA-approved to prevent monkeypox. It can be effective at preventing monkeypox if administered within four days of the exposure event and can reduce the severity of illness if given within 5-14 days after exposure.
If you cared for a monkeypox patient while wearing the recommended PPE, the CDC recommends that you continue to monitor yourself for symptoms for at least 21 days. You should monitor your symptoms for 21 days and report to EHS if you experience fever greater than 100.4 degrees, rash, or swollen lymph nodes.
If you develop symptoms, it does not mean that you contracted monkeypox, but you should be evaluated since COVID-19 and, in the fall, influenza can cause symptoms similar to the early symptoms of monkeypox. You should not report to work if you have symptoms, and you should report them to EHS so you can receive instructions on how to proceed. Remember that regardless of the degree of exposure, you may continue to work as long as you are asymptomatic.
If you have questions, you can call 212-844-1100 for a telephone consultation between 8 am and 5 pm Monday to Friday and 9 am - 3 pm Saturday and Sunday.