How College Students Can Stay Safe as Monkeypox Spreads
With students coming back to college at the end of August, there has been concern about college campus’ becoming a potential hotspot for monkeypox.
While monkeypox won’t be spread by being in the same room as someone with it, college students are urged to learn about the virus, how it is spread and how to prevent it.
Joe Gastaldo, MD, OhioHealth system medical director of infectious diseases tells Karyssa D’Agostino with NBC4, that there isn’t a major concern about outbreaks on college campus due to the way the virus is transmitted. However, students should remain knowledgeable and careful.
“If you go to college you need to know about monkeypox,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “If you are an at-risk population that we are seeing monkeypox in, specifically men who have sex with men, think about getting the vaccine if you qualify for it. Understand that if you have any type of undiagnosed skin lesion you need to get tested.”
Dr. Gastaldo says it’s important to isolate and report if you have tested positive, so contract tracing can begin. “If somebody in the dorms is confirmed to have monkeypox it’s important to do contact tracing as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Gastaldo. “And to offer the vaccines to those individuals, perhaps people who have the same bedroom or share the same bathroom.”
College students should be aware of ways to mitigate monkeypox. Practicing safe sex, limiting sexual partners and isolating and reporting any symptoms like undiagnosed skin lesions are all great ways to prevent monkeypox outbreak on campus.
The Ohio State University, Ohio University and Capital University are monitoring monkeypox case numbers. OSU will provide students with information as needed. Ohio University will provide students with information at the start of the semester. Capital University has not yet finalized their monkeypox protocols.
To listen to Dr. Gastaldo’s full interview on NBC4, click the station’s logo below.