'Risk is very low': Monkeypox concerns as college students return to campus

’Risk is very low’: Monkeypox concerns as college students return to campus

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58)-- Local universities are telling students that the risk of monkeypox spreading throughout campus remains low. 

The virus was declared a public health emergency in the United States at the beginning of the month.

As of Aug. 23, there are 21 confirmed cases in Milwaukee and 56 cases in Wisconsin.

Schools in the University of Wisconsin System and Marquette University are issuing information to students online so they know what to do if they're exposed or test positive.

"Monkeypox is spread mainly through close intimate contact, and often, through sexual activity," Vivent Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. Leslie Cockerham said.

Symptoms typically start with a fever and swollen lymph nodes. In the following days, people may experience a rash or sores.

"If people note any sort of rash, any abnormal lesion, they should talk to their health care provider, talk to student health, and look to get tested," Cockerham said.

The Centers for Disease Control warns a person can spread monkeypox from the time symptoms start until the rash is fully healed and a new layer of skin has formed.

"Viruses don't care your gender or where you're from or what you do, necessarily. They can affect anyone," Cockerham said.

Due to its limited availability, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services is prioritizing the vaccine for people with a high risk of infection. 

Doctors recommend those who are eligible to talk to their health care provider about getting the vaccine.

Resources on monkeypox from local universities can be found below:

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