MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A West Virginia University student tested positive for monkeypox on Wednesday (Sept. 7). The patient, who resides off-campus, has been seen by health care providers, and is currently isolating and recovering. WVU Medicine Student Health will continue to monitor the case, close contacts of the student have been identified and are being notified by the Monongalia County Health Department and the WVU CARE Team is offering support.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is primarily spread through close, personal and/or intimate contact with an individual infected with the monkeypox virus. This includes direct skin-to-skin contact with monkeypox rash or bodily fluids from an infected person.
“Currently, the risk of monkeypox transmission on our campus and across the state is very low and, with proper safety precautions, there is no need for elevated concern,” Dr. Carmen Burrell, medical director of WVU Medicine Student Health and Urgent Care, said. “You can prevent infection by avoiding direct contact with rashes, scabs or body fluids from a person diagnosed with monkeypox and wearing a mask if you are in prolonged close contact with someone who has symptoms or a confirmed infection, such as in a health care setting. Anyone exposed should monitor for symptoms for 21 days and, if symptoms develop, isolate until evaluation by a health care professional can be obtained.”
While the University will not send public communications for each new case, those who are identified as having a possible exposure will be notified and are asked to follow instructions if they are contacted. WVU will continue to collaborate with the Monongalia County Health Department to increase awareness, provide educational resources and share information about vaccine availability.
Students with medical questions should reach out to WVU Medicine Student Health at 304-285-7200.