Officials announced the GW community’s first case of monkeypox Tuesday.
The 2022 outbreak of monkeypox, a viral infection that causes legions and has quickly spread internationally, began in early May and infected at least 5,000 people by late June. Officials said in an email to students that a confirmed case had been found in the GW community and the individual is receiving treatment and in isolation off campus.
“Risk of monkeypox infection among the campus community continues to remain very low,” the email states.
Officials said the viral infection spreads most easily through close direct and indirect contact with skin lesions of an infected individual. Officials said the patient’s three close contacts have been notified and added that GW students and staff who think they may have contracted the virus or been in contact should respectively contact the Colonial Health Center and GW Occupational Health.
“You can prevent exposure by avoiding close contact with skin or clothing of an infected person and by wearing a mask,” the email states. “Healthcare workers and students in the pre-professional health sciences should wear an N95 mask, face shield, gloves and gown.”
D.C. Health began offering a limited number of monkeypox vaccines to at-risk groups Monday. All 300 appointments offered Monday afternoon were claimed within 15 minutes, and D.C. officials will offer more appointments Wednesday.
“Should D.C. receive additional vaccines from the federal government, additional appointments may be provided,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a tweet Monday.