Preparing for Monkeypox

Aug 8, 2022, 12:51 PM

(From NPR) College and university administrators who served on their schools' COVID response teams are now bracing for a new health threat this fall: monkeypox. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the risk of contracting monkeypox in the U.S. is "believed to be low." However, since the virus spreads through physical contact with the monkeypox rash, health experts are advising schools to watch areas where  students come into close physical contact with each other's skin, including locker rooms, gyms or even theater groups. Some schools, including Cornell University, are developing testing, treatment and isolation protocols for those affected.

One important challenge that unique to monkeypox is that it requires a longer isolation period, as it can last a few weeks. That means a student who contracts the virus may need to isolate for a significant chunk of their semester. This presents an important challenge to schools  have shifted back to in-person instruction after going fully remote in 2020. 

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(From EdWeek) Only 5 of the 7,000 cases of Monkeypox currently reported in the U.S. have been among children, and the risk of the disease spreading within schools is low, according to health experts. Contact sports like wrestling could pose a small risk. The CDC and other federal agencies have not released any official guidance for school and district leaders about monkeypox as children have represented very few cases. School and district leaders should listen to local health officials and encourage children with bumps, rashes, or lesions to consult a doctor. 

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