West Chester University commuter student tests positive for monkey pox

WEST CHESTER, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — A West Chester University student has tested positive for monkeypox.

The student is identified as a commuter living outside of Chester County and off-campus.

Nancy Santos Gainer, the vice president of university communications, tells Action News that the student is currently isolated and doing well.

Gainer said once the university found out they started working with local health departments to see if anyone in Chester County had been exposed.

There are no reports of close contact with the student at this time, Gainer said. There are also no other reports of monkey pox in college.

Students told Action News they received an email from the university that a student taking summer classes tested positive for monkey pox.

According to medical experts, monkey pox virus usually starts with generic virus symptoms such as headache, fever, pain and fatigue. But then that can increase and some may develop a rash, or the smallpox spots they are known for, all over their bodies.

It usually spreads through respiratory droplets, usually after prolonged contact, and other bodily fluids or other forms of close contact.

“We want people to know that it comes in close intimate contact with someone with monkey pox. It’s not easily transmissible,” explains Gainer.

It’s still unclear if the student came into contact with anyone outside of Chester County.

If so, Gainer said other counties’ health departments would call everyone.

At this time, it remains unknown where the student contracted monkey pox.

West Chester University released this statement to Action News:

West Chester University health officials received confirmation last weekend that a commuter student has tested positive for monkey pox. The student is currently isolated and doing well. According to the leading health department’s investigative efforts on the case, the university has been told there are “There are no close contacts in Chester County. There have been no other reports to the university, and according to the CDC and PA Department of Health, the risk of contracting monkeypox remains extremely low.”

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