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Doctors not concerned about monkeypox spreading at schools

Doctors not concerned about monkeypox spreading at schools
Doctors not concerned about monkeypox spreading at schools 02:43

MARION TOWNSHIP, Pa. (KDKA) - A confirmed monkeypox case was found at a YMCA camp just weeks before the beginning of the school year. 

At this point, it's still unclear whether the case was found in a camper or a staff member at Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer in Marion Township, Beaver County. The Y said the infected person quarantined and they are working with the Department of Health to mitigate the spread.

In talking with doctors, they believe this virus should not run rampant through schools and cause the problems we have seen with other viruses like COVID.

"I think the risk of transmission is very low in that case," AHN Pediatrician Dr. Edward Ketyer said.

The YMCA said the infected person has left the camp, and no other cases have been identified. The virus spreads through skin-to-skin contact and anyone can get it, but so far limited populations have gotten it.

"About 98% or the vast majority of cases in the United States have been men having sex with men, so that type of close contact," UPMC Infection Disease specialist Dr. Raymond Pontzer said.

Again, doctors stress anyone can get it, and it's not an STD. Contagiousness appears to start just about a day before the rash develops. Doctors are telling parents not to panic.

"I am really not concerned about students in school settings. I think it's extremely unlikely," Dr. Pontzer said.

Medical experts say if there is an age group to be more alert, it's teenagers, who may be sexually active.

"That's probably the pediatric group that I'm most concerned about are older teenagers," Dr. Ketyer said.

Some early signs of the virus include fever and body aches, before the rash and legions.

"Anyone who is experiencing those types of symptoms should stay home from work and stay home from school anyway," Keyter said over Zoom.

For any parents who may have concerns about a rash on their child, they should talk with their pediatrician to see what is the cause. Both doctors said parents should not fear sending their kids to school.  

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