Monkeypox ‘rare’ in children, but schools need to be cautious

K-12 schools across the United States are reopening in the fall, raising concerns about possible monkeypox transmissions involving children.

After an elementary school student in Georgia recently contracted the virus, concerns about the risk of the virus spreading among children when they return to class began to draw attention. Parents are worried about their children, but school administrators and teachers will do their best to be on high alert.

Although experts have indicated that the risk is low for school-aged children to catch monkeypox amid the epidemic, K-12 schools across the country are exercising caution even before the reopening of schools. classroom.

“They’re watching this closely in their states, and they’re paying attention to what their governor and their state health departments are saying — and they’re keeping it on their radar,” Noelle Ellerson Ng said. CNN.

However, Ng admitted that not all schools in the country have measures against monkeypox. But most schools have rules and regulations for infectious disease control, so they should be able to handle the situation.

“Do all the schools in the country have a monkeypox policy? No. Most schools across the country have an infectious disease policy and regulations,” she said, adding that schools can follow their policies and regulations as well as guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) at middle of the epidemic.

“They are going to continue to follow these infectious disease policies and regulations, and the CDC guidelines are just one layer on top of that. This is information that they can review, consume, and integrate as needed. The school nurses are aware of the instructions. And the infectious disease protocols that were already in place remain in place,” said the School Principals Associationexplained the Deputy Executive Director of Advocacy and Governance.

Earlier this month, the The CDC released a statement emphasizing the need for K-12 schools and daycare centers to follow their daily protocols to reduce possible transmissions of any infectious disease, including monkeypox.

“Currently, the risk of monkeypox to children and adolescents in the United States is low. Monkeypox virus can infect anyone, including children, if they have close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox. In this outbreak, most cases of monkeypox have been associated with sexual contact,” the CDC wrote.

The public health agency also warned that while the spread of monkeypox by touching contaminated objects is less common, everyone should be aware that it is possible to contract the disease by touching toys, cooking utensils kitchen, clothes, bedding, towels and even surfaces used by a person with the disease. the virus.

The CDC noted that children and adolescents exposed to monkeypox should be monitored for symptoms for 21 days. Parents should be vigilant when inspecting for rashes, sores or ulcers, especially in areas of the body that are difficult for their children to see. It is essential to contact the local health department or their health care provider immediately. Children with symptoms are discouraged from returning to school until cleared by a medical professional after an examination.

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