Returning to campus under the menace of Monkey Pox

Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 4:27 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - For those who went away from home to a college or university, who can forget moving into a dorm for the first time? It really is a way of stepping into independence, for many, for the first time.

But for the fall of 2022, there’s a new concern for students: Monkey Pox.

“Of course, connecting with the locations,” says Dr. Mage Akinpar, Dean of UNR’s School of Public Health says of students’ first priorities on campus. “You have the dorms. You have more possibility with contact with other students and other places. And of course, the behavioral perspective. There are young people. If you don’t know what disease is, how do you protect yourself? It can be cause to connect and spread easier,” she says.

Dr. Akpinar says thanks to COVID, the university is well versed in handling communicable diseases like Monkey Pox which is not as severe.

She says communicating and educating everyone on campus about this virus, its prevention, and treatment is the key. The disease is spread though activity not uncommon on a university campus.

That includes prolonged skin to skin contact. Particularly if that contact is on the rash itself, or the fluid which comes from the pox. It can be spread by touching objects previously in contact with someone who has monkey pox; that includes linens. It is also spread by hugging, kissing, or having sex with someone who has monkey pox.

Symptoms include fever, chills, swollen lymph glands, headache, and respiratory symptoms. The rash can appear before or after these symptoms appear.

The university will have the most up-to-date Monkey Pox information available to students and staff as they arrive on campus. The student health center will have information on its website. Staff is also on hand to answer any questions.

If the university suspects any monkey pox case, they will work with the Washoe County Health District to confirm that case. Interviews will be done with potential contacts and if needed vaccines will be given.

In the meantime, students are encouraged to get to a primary care physician or student health center if they are suffering from any of the symptoms, particularly if they see a rash.

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