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Monkeypox vs. Pennsylvania colleges: Health experts say campuses are prepared

There's an added worry this year on college campuses as the new semester begins—the potential spread of monkeypox.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — August means Pennsylvanian college students can pack up their suitcases and make their way back to campus.

However, Monkeypox is on the rise, and local medical experts say students shouldn't shed precautions just yet.

Dr. John Goodman, an infectious disease expert at UPMC, said that Monkeypox is mostly spread through skin to skin contact. He says colleges could be a great space for the virus to grow.

 "We have a lot of kids crowded in dorms and by the nature of college kids there is a lot of skin-to-skin contact,” said Dr. Goodman.

 According to the CDC, there are currently more than 7,500 cases of Monkeypox in the United States-- 205 of those cases in Pennsylvania. 

However, local health experts are optimistic. Dr. Goodman said that avoiding the virus takes common sense.

The Pennsylvania Department of Health told FOX43 that it advises people to go back to the basics to avoid the virus. That includes proper handwashing, avoiding skin-to-skin contact with people who have an obvious or lesions, and try not to handle or touch bedding or clothing of a person with Monkeypox.

And Dr. Goldman thinks that while the virus is on the rise, it's still very uncommon. 

Even still, campuses are preparing.

A Millersville University spokesperson told FOX43 that health services on campus are available to all students-- providing evaluation, testing and treatment of Monkeypox.

Anthony Mansfield, a freshman education major and football player at Millersville University, wont let this new virus stop him this school year. 

“I'm not concerned, I got other actual things to worry about like school and football,” said Mansfield. 

And Dr. Goodman agrees with him. 

“You're not going to get Monkeypox from sitting in class with someone who has it or by being in a dorm room with someone that has it," said Goodman, "it really requires close contact.”


Download the FOX43 app here. 

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