Georgian children diagnosed with monkeypox, health officials say

Registered Pharmacist Sapana Patel holds a bottle of Monkeypox vaccine at a Monkeypox Pop-Up Vaccination Site on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Credit: Richard Vogel

Registered Pharmacist Sapana Patel holds a bottle of Monkeypox vaccine at a Monkeypox Pop-Up Vaccination Site on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 in West Hollywood, Calif.  (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Credit: Richard Vogel

Registered Pharmacist Sapana Patel holds a bottle of Monkeypox vaccine at a Monkeypox Pop-Up Vaccination Site on Wednesday, August 3, 2022 in West Hollywood, Calif. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

Credit: Richard Vogel

Credit: Richard Vogel

The DPH website that details Georgia monkeypox cases will be updated Wednesday afternoon.

Newton County school system officials notified parents at both schools of the cases via School Messenger. Parents of students who may be considered close contacts of ill students will receive additional communication from school officials advising them of next steps.

The CDC defines close contact as someone who has had skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, including touching or coming into contact with the monkeypox rash, or who has shared items such as towels and bedding .

The Newton School System said Tuesday that maintenance workers will clean and disinfect classrooms and other areas at both elementary schools.

At the start of the school year, health experts said parents should not expect to be notified by their school when cases of monkeypox arise among school staff or students. As with other reportable diseases, health care providers must report cases of monkeypox to DPH, but the state Department of Education does not have the authority to require schools to report cases. , said a DOE spokesperson.

Georgia Department of Health Holds Massive Monkeypox Vaccination Clinic in DeKalb County

Georgia Department of Health Holds Massive Monkeypox Vaccination Clinic in DeKalb County

Georgia Department of Health Holds Massive Monkeypox Vaccination Clinic in DeKalb County

Earlier this month, as students began to return to school, Clayton County Schools told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Wednesday that an employee contracted the virus over the summer, but never had contact with students or teachers.

Health experts say that based on the data we have so far, the risk of monkeypox spreading in school settings appears to be ‘very low risk’. But that doesn’t mean the risk is zero.

Dr. Jayne Morgan, executive director of the Piedmont COVID Task Force, said in a recent interview that families should practice good hand hygiene — washing their hands with soap and running water for 20 seconds. She said stringent cleaning measures, which have been put in place during the COVID-19 pandemic, are helping to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

And for children living with adults in high-risk groups for monkeypox, “Encourage (high-risk adults) to get vaccinated against monkeypox. This is the first thing the person can do to protect themselves and other members of the household.

The AJC interviewed Dr. Bronwen Garner, infectious disease specialist at Piedmont Healthcare, asking a series of questions about Monkeypox. Video by Ryon Horn

While nearly all of the cases to date have been in men who have sex with men, according to the CDC, health officials point out that anyone can get monkeypox. Health officials also say the virus could start to spread more widely.

The monkeypox virus is much less transmissible than the coronavirus because it is transmitted mainly through prolonged skin-to-skin contact. Touching objects that have already touched the infectious rash or bodily fluids is a one-way spread of monkeypox, but DPH said in a statement that this was not identified as a significant or common mode of transmission in this outbreak or for monkeypox in general.

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