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Experts hearing questions about monkeypox, COVID-19 as school begins

Experts hearing questions about monkeypox, COVID-19 as school begins
Experts hearing questions about monkeypox, COVID-19 as school begins 02:17

NORTH TEXAS (CBSDFW.COM) - Back-to-school anxiety may be a rite of passage for students, but parents may be experiencing it as well. Between safety and health concerns, it can be tough to send your child off this year. 

That's why Texas Children's Hospital addressed the top questions they're hearing from parents. First, monkeypox. While cases in Texas are climbing, physicians stressed that it rarely affects children.

"This is not COVID," said Dr. James Versalovic, pathologist-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital. "Let's be clear, this is not an infection that's going to be nearly as contagious in any way because it's not an airborne virus."

And speaking of COVID, they said the numbers are trending favorably, but parents should balance some degree of normalcy with vigilance.

"I think, with back-to-school, it's about monitoring our children and their health, and not have a child tested for COVID and then sending them to school the same day, for example. Wait for results," said Dr. Lara Shekerdemian, pediatrician-in-chief at Texas Children's Hospital.

They also urged continued inoculation of preventable illnesses like polio, warning that it's not extinct.

 "It is a concern that, as more families choose to not vaccinate, what may happen is that these viruses or other infectious agents start to spread through the community," said Dr. Stan Spinner, chief medical officer/VP at Texas Children's Hospital.

And when it comes to our children's mental health - particularly after Uvalde - experts said to ask questions, listen carefully and reach out to your doctor with any concerns.

"This is something that is just as desperately important as having a sore throat or a fever," said Dr. Spinner. "Having issues when it comes to mental health is so critical that we understand what's going on and get your child as a parent the resources that are so desperately important."

Texas Children's Hospital will be hosting a public town hall to answer parents' back-to-school questions on Thursday, Aug, 18 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Facebook Live. 

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