MCPS Community Message Regarding Monkeypox

by Patrick Herron

Per Montgomery County Public Schools:
Dear MCPS Community,
Yesterday,  the President and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) declared a Public Health Emergency due to ongoing outbreaks of human monkeypox (“MPX” or “MPV”) across the United States, including Maryland.  We are very aware of the concerns in the MCPS community and plan to provide more information updates as we approach the new school year.  At this time, MCPS and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are communicating on a near-daily basis to monitor the evolving public health situation, and to collaborate efforts to ensure the MCPS community is informed and prepared.

The Maryland Department of Health issued a statement on August 2, which includes details about case counts, testing and vaccination strategy, and contact tracing efforts. As of that date, there were 129 confirmed cases of MPX in the state of Maryland.  Information about the Montgomery County public health response is available on the DHHS website, as are instructions on pre-registration for vaccination for eligible individuals.  County residents and medical providers can contact the Montgomery County Communicable Disease Control team at 240-777-1755 with questions about county services.

Below are links to more information about MPX, including how it spreads, symptoms, prevention and treatment.  In contrast to the early days of COVID-19, we know more about MPX, how it spreads and affects humans, and about the available vaccines and treatments.  Individuals at a higher risk of being exposed to MPX should be vaccinated, take additional precautions to protect themselves, and seek a medical provider’s advice if they are concerned for symptoms of MPX.

We encourage all MCPS community members to learn more about MPX. At this time the risk of transmission in the general public is low, but the time is right to learn more about MPX, how to prevent transmission and what to do if you believe you have been exposed.

Sincerely,

Patricia Kapunan, MD
MCPS Medical Officer

RESOURCES

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: “Monkeypox:
https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html

Maryland Department of Health: “Human Monkeypox”
https://health.maryland.gov/phpa/OIDEOR/Pages/monkeypox.aspx#mokeypoxResource

Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services: “Monkeypox (MPX)”
https://www.montgomerycountymd.gov/HHS/RightNav/Monkeypox.html

Rise and Shine: A child health resource for parents and family members from Children’s National Hospital: “Everything you need to know about monkeypox”
https://riseandshine.childrensnational.org/everything-you-need-to-know-about-monkeypox/

HealthyChildren.org: The Parenting Website of the American Academy of Pediatrics: ”What is monkeypox?”
https://www.healthychildren.org/english/health-issues/vaccine-preventable-diseases/pages/what-is-monkeypox.aspx

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