‘Presumptive’ monkeypox case identified in Georgetown University community

Georgetown University said Wednesday there has been a “presumptive” case of monkeypox in the school community.

The person lives near the university’s main campus in D.C., and is currently in isolation with support and resources.

Ranit Mishori, the school’s chief public health officer, said those who have been in contact with the person have been notified. D.C.’s Health Department and Georgetown’s public health team are monitoring those who might be affected.

“We are working closely with DC Health and the university’s infectious-disease experts,” Mishori said in a statement.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a viral infection.

The risk of contracting monkeypox is very low for those who have been in casual, rather than close, contact with an infected individual. Examples of close contact include direct physical contact with the infectious rash, including kissing, cuddling or sex.

Symptoms 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.

Any Georgetown student or staff member who develops symptoms should call either their doctor or the Student Health Center (202-687-2200). They should also email the university’s public health team at carenavigators@georgetown.edu.

The first presumed case of human monkeypox in Maryland this year was identified last week, just weeks after being found in D.C. and Virginia.

No severe disease or deaths have been linked to this outbreak in the United States at this time, Georgetown University said in a letter to the school community. The latest number of cases nationwide as of Wednesday is 156, including three in Maryland, four in D.C. and one in Virginia.

Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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