Colleges Should Prepare For Monkeypox, Infectious Disease Expert Says

Monkeypox virus test results document

Photo: Getty Images

NORTON, Mass. (WBZ NewsRadio) — An infectious disease expert is telling colleges and universities to be prepared for monkeypox before students return to campus.

MGH Institute of Health Professions infectious disease expert Rachel Cox, DNP, FNP-BC has been in contact with about 30 schools around New England, urging them to put safety measures in place for any potential outbreaks of the infectious disease.

"They should be educating on-site clinicians about symptoms of monkeypox, how to diagnose, treatment, setting up contracts with local laboratories for testing supplies, things like that," Cox told WBZ NewsRadio.

Cases of monkeypox have been reported in countries in Europe and North America, where the disease is not endemic, since early May 2022. People infected with monkeypox develop a distinct rash on their skin that initially looks like blisters. Other symptoms can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and muscle aches. Most infections last anywhere from two to four weeks. The disease spreads through close, often skin-to-skin contact, such as sex.

"There’s definitely a high risk of something spreading when students all live in one place," said Cox. "They eat together, study together, they have sex, they go to parties, they dance. There’s a lot of opportunities for things to spread."

Cox says colleges should also find ways of discussing healthy hygiene and safe sex with students.

"Right now we’re seeing colleges reaching out a lot to student groups on campuses--not just LGBT, but college students as a whole--to see the best way to have these really open, honest adult discussions," Cox said.

As of Tuesday, Sept. 6, there have been 336 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Massachusetts.

WBZ's Kim Tunnicliffe (@KimWBZ) reports.

Follow WBZ NewsRadio: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | iHeartmedia App

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content