OHA Tells Schools to Plan for Monkeypox – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News

Jonathan Parducho, a pharmacist, removes vials of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco in July. (Lea Suzuki/San Francisco Chronicle via AP)

With the first pediatric case of monkeypox reported in Oregon on Wednesday, public health officials want families to know the new disease poses a “low risk” to schools, but districts should still start planning their response to the during the new school year.

The Oregon Health Authority did not provide any identifying information about the child who contracted the case, including age, gender or county of residence. The child was tested for monkeypox infection on August 11 and the positive result was known on August 15. The virus was transmitted by a person who fell ill in July, the health authority said.

The disease, which can cause painful sores or rashes, is currently transmitted most often among men who have sex with other men. But since transmission can usually occur through skin-to-skin contact, state epidemiologist Dean Sidelinger sought to explain at a news conference this week why school officials and families should care about monkeypox. .

“We will have students, staff or teachers diagnosed with monkeypox,” he said. “We encourage them to stay home if they are sick or develop a new rash. Seek care for testing and treatment. This will help minimize potential exposures – even exposures that pose low risks of transmission – in schools.

Sidelinger asked schools to plan to support students and staff with monkeypox who self-isolate. But he refrained from recommending “additional measures” for schools.

“This disease doesn’t spread like COVID-19 does,” Sidelinger said.

He encouraged schools to publish materials to help de-stigmatize monkeypox in schools, where children follow a disease prevention curriculum. Oregon Department of Education Director Colt Gill, who attended the press conference with Sidelinger, agreed. He added that all school districts have communicable disease plans, which “go far beyond COVID-19.”