Michigan students head back to school amid monkeypox outbreak

Expert tips on staying healthy in the dorms
Published: Aug. 17, 2022 at 6:46 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Michigan State University is just two weeks away from tens of thousands of college students moving to East Lansing.

The university is still working on its plan to prevent the spread of monkeypox in residence halls.

Aug. 17, 2022: Monkeypox in Michigan - State’s total cases rises to 104

“I’m excited to be back, but also very nervous,” said MSU senior, Claire Paterra, “This year I feel like is literally the first year that we’re gonna be able to have a normal year, and now monkeypox is like starting to happen.”

Molly Maki is a sophomore at MSU and she’s living in the dorms this year. She said, “I’m a little bit worried because I feel like in the dorms you’re a lot more susceptible to it, and especially because we’re gonna be having communal bathrooms, it’s a little more concerning.”

While she’s concerned, she still has confidence in MSU’s ability to implement safety protocol.

“You can’t really account for what the students are gonna do, unfortunately, because like everyone’s going out,” Maki said. “Everyone’s going to games and stuff.”

MSU did not have anyone available to talk about their Monkeypox mitigation plan. However, Sparrow’s Vice President and Chief Medical Information Officer had some tips for students coming back to campus.

“For anybody who’s just not feeling well, since not feeling well is a pretty vague symptom but could be an early symptom of monkeypox,” Dr. Michael Zaroukian. “It’s best to sort of take a time-out from close contact in that situation. It’s really skin-to-skin or skin-to-mucus membranes like the inside of the mouth.”

He said students should avoid skin-to-skin contact and to keep surfaces clean. He also said it’s less about avoiding a quick hug from a friend, and more about knowing the risk factors and avoiding them.

More information on monkeypox can be found on the CDC’s official website here or on the MDHHS’ website here.

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