A traveling student at West Chester University has contracted monkey flu

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

The student resides outside of Chester County and is identified as a non-resident traveler.

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

Once the university found out, Gainer said, it began working with local health departments to see if anyone in Chester County had been exposed.

Gainer said there are no close contacts with the student at this time. There have been no other reports of monkeypox at the university.

Students told Action News that they received an email from the university that a student studying in summer classes has been confirmed to be infected with monkey flu.

According to medical experts, the monkeypox virus usually starts with common viral symptoms like headache, fever, aches and fatigue. But then it can increase and some may develop rashes or the symptoms of pox, as they are known, all over their body.

It is usually spread 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 from being in close contact with someone who has monkey flu. It’s not easily reversible,” Gainer explained.

It’s not yet clear if the student had contact with anyone outside of Chester County.

In that case, Gainer said, other county health departments will call anyone who may have been exposed.

In this case, the student did not know where the monkey fever came from.

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West Chester University released this statement to Action News:

“Health officials at West Chester University have been confirmed to have tested positive for monkeypox last weekend. The student is currently in isolation and doing well. The university has been notified, according to lead health department investigative efforts on the case. There are no close contacts in Chester County. The university has no other reports, and the CDC and PA According to the Department of Health, the risk of contracting monkeypox is very low.”

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