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School district reports 1st monkeypox case, in Summerlin

Updated August 12, 2022 - 5:30 pm

The Clark County School District announced Friday that a person at Palo Verde High School in Summerlin has been diagnosed with monkeypox.

It’s the first case that has been announced in the district, which has nearly 300,000 students and about 40,000 employees.

A school message to parents does not say if the affected person is a student or employee. The Southern Nevada Health District also would not provide details about the case.

“Monkeypox transmission in school settings is not common and the Health District believes the risk of transmission at the school is low,” the health district’s Stephanie Bethel said in an email.

In a statement, the school district said it was informed Friday by the health district of a confirmed case of monkeypox.

Its message to parents said the school is working with the health district to determine “who may need additional evaluation.”

The health district will notify parents if their child needs to be tested or monitored, according to the message.

The health district conducts contact tracing and notifications, and the school district responds accordingly to “mitigate the spread of the virus and clean and disinfect areas,” according to the statement.

As of Friday, 75 probable and confirmed cases have been reported in Clark County, according to the health district. “The risk of monkeypox in the general population remains very low based on the information available,” it said on its website.

Those infected with monkeypox typically get a blistering rash within three weeks of exposure and may also have flu-like symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Conrol and Prevention. The illness is typically spread through close, intimate contact. Most U.S. cases have been among men who have sex with men.

“The virus spreads from person to person through close physical contact with infectious monkeypox sores, bodily fluids, contact with objects or fabrics used by someone who has monkeypox, or prolonged face-to-face contact,” according to the school message to parents.

Monkeypox is rarely fatal, but its pus-filled lesions are painful and may result in scarring, federal health officials have said.

Since May there has been a global outbreak of the once-rare disease that historically has been found primarily in parts of Africa. There have been 11,177 cases confirmed in the U.S. during the outbreak, with New York reporting the most cases followed by California and Florida, according to the CDC. Globally, there have been 31,799 reported cases.

For more information about monkeypox and who’s eligible for a vaccine, visit southernnevadahealthdistrict.org.

Contact Julie Wootton-Greener at jgreener@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2921. Follow @julieswootton on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Mary Hynes contributed to this report.

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