The University of Maryland reported its first presumptive case of monkeypox Wednesday, according to an email from University Health Center Director Spyridon Marinopoulos.
The university has responded with cleaning and disinfection measures guided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and is working with the Prince George’s County Health Department to notify those who need to be informed, the email read.
It is likely the university will experience more monkeypox cases because of its rise across the country, Marinopoulos wrote. University health staff will work with county health officials to monitor cases.
As of Aug. 16, Maryland has 335 cases out of the 12,689 cases reported in the U.S., according to the CDC.
[Prince George’s County offering limited monkeypox vaccines]
It is known that monkeypox is spread between people primarily through close contact, Marinopoulos said. The risk of contracting the infection is low for those who have been in casual contact with an infected individual, such as being in the same room as someone infected.
Steps to prevent contracting monkeypox include avoiding close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox, avoiding contact with objects and materials that someone with monkeypox has used and washing hands often with soap and water, the email said.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that can appear on the face, inside of the mouth and on other body parts.
For students who develop symptoms, Marinopoulos recommends contacting the university health center or another health care provider.