PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Local colleges and universities are making sure students are informed about monkeypox prior to the first day of classes.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are more than 700 monkeypox cases in Illinois, mostly in the Chicago area.
“Illinois State University’s approach is to just continue monitoring the situation at the state level,” said ISU spokesperson Eric Jome.
Jome said guidelines for students are similar to other communicable diseases like COVID-19, influenza and mumps.
“Isolating if you’re sick, staying away from others who may be infected seeking medical treatment, basic hygiene–basic preventative measures. That’s really kind of what we’re trying to promote at this time,” he said.
Illinois Wesleyan University students received an email with “information from the CDC about monkeypox transmission, symptoms and preventative steps to stay well,” according to a statement from IWU spokesperson Julia Perez.
“We will continue to keep students educated and informed about the virus as the semester begins. IWU Arnold Health Services is prepared to assist students with any questions or concerns,” the statement continued.
Steve Fast, spokesperson for Heartland Community College,” said HCC is “continuing to monitor the environment across the district in regards to both COVID-19 and monkeypox.”
“Students and employees are expected to follow our Standard of Care and Courtesy which include not coming to campus if you are exhibiting symptoms such as a fever, which is associated with both viruses,” he said.
Monkeypox spreads through close or intimate contact. Symptoms include a rash with blisters and flu-like symptoms. The disease resolves on its own in two to four weeks.