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Health Center Director Recommends Monkeypox Precautions; No Campus Cases Reported

By Maryland Today Staff

University Health Center Director Dr. Spyridon Marinopoulos sent the following email today to the campus community:

As many of you have likely seen, monkeypox has been in the news for several weeks. As of August 8, cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in 49 states.

At this time, there have not been any cases within our campus community. However, I’m writing to provide some basic information about monkeypox, and to remind everyone of the everyday precautions you can take to protect yourself.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It spreads between people through close contact (e.g., direct physical contact with the infectious rash, including during intimate contact such as kissing, cuddling or sex). The risk of contracting this infection is very low for those who have been in casual, rather than close, contact with an infected individual (e.g., being in the same room).

Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox. Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox. Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.

No severe disease or deaths have been linked to this outbreak in the United States at this time.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus.

If you develop symptoms consistent with monkeypox, please contact the University Health Center (UHC) at 301.314.8184 or your own healthcare provider to report the symptoms and seek further guidance. If you seek care through your own healthcare provider, please also call the UHC at 301.314.8184 to report your case. The UHC website also has answers to frequently asked questions about monkeypox.

We will continue to monitor the situation, work with our local and state health department partners and provide campus updates as we learn more about monkeypox.

Be well and stay safe,

Spyridon S. Marinopoulos

Spyridon S. Marinopoulos, MD, MBA, FACP
Director, University Health Center
Chief Medical Officer, University of Maryland

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