As the monkeypox (MPX) virus continues to spread across the United States, University Health Services (UHS) sent a message to the campus community highlighting possible cases and steps taken to prepare for exposure. The Aug. 11 email, from her Dr. Irini Daskalaki, UHS Global and Community Health Physician, and Robin Izzo, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Environmental Health and Safety, marks the university’s first official acknowledgment of the virus. is shown.
Students have previously expressed concerns over the MPX outbreak, with some asking the university to clarify its response. College queer members of her community, who may be more vulnerable, as many of his MPX cases have been documented among men who have sex with men (MSMs), have been exposed to recent public health threats. We are urging the community to address the
Beyond Princeton, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) weekly report of morbidity and mortality notes that “of monkeypox cases in the United States for which data are available, 99% occur in men, 94% of whom but recent male-to-male sexual activity or close contact.” MPX was also noted to have differential effects on minority populations.
Amidst these numbers, an email from UHS underscored the importance of community vigilance surrounding MPX guidance.
“The community of men and trans women who have sex with men are more exposed to the MPX virus, but anyone can get the virus. It is important that members of the public take the public health guidance on MPX seriously,” Daskalaki and Izzo wrote.
Non-binary and bisexual, Max Peel ’25 expressed a sense of relief in response to UHS’ statement to disperse the virus from certain populations by emphasizing community responsibility.
“I am very happy to hear from the university. ,” they wrote in an email to The Daily Princetonian.
However, Peele explained that he was concerned about the impact on the students’ overall health and well-being.
“Of course, we are still concerned about the risks to our students and the possible impact on the health of our students next semester, but at this stage we need to listen and see what happens after that. The next few months are understandable,” Peel said.
Since then, UHS has updated its page with detailed information about the virus, including transmission patterns, signs and symptoms of the latest outbreak, and how it is spreading. The site also outlines new university policies regarding isolation, vaccination, and treatment.
Individuals suspected of having monkeypox should be quarantined pending test results. Daskalaki said samples collected through UHS will be processed by his provider, Quest Diagnostics, the same lab that managed his COVID-19 surveillance at the university.
Students who test positive should be quarantined “at home or elsewhere” until the rash has healed and new skin has formed. This process may take 2-4 weeks.According to this guidance, in a 12-week semester, if a student tests positive for MPX, the student will be quarantined from campus for up to 1/3 of the semester. need to do it.
Philippe Marly ’23 previously reached out to UHS and the Gender and Sexuality Resource Center to advocate for greater transparency as universities prepare their response to the virus, sharing with ‘Prince’. Communication about illness. But Maruri said he still feels that UHS communications left some unclear points.
“It would be nice to have more details, especially on whether isolation housing is available for MPX patients, plans to ensure access to the vaccine, and whether testing is available on campus,” Maruri wrote.
The August 11 message said that eligible community members “should strongly consider getting vaccinated.” However, the university’s newly launched page on monkeypox does not make such comprehensive recommendations. The site provides links to New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania standards for vaccines, but if an individual “… [they] meet all Please review the Eligibility Aspects before scheduling appointments to prioritize those who need it most.
This specification is likely in response to the limited supply of JYNNEOS, the leading pre-exposure prophylaxis vaccine approved for use against monkeypox in the United States. Amid federal shortages, both Daskalaki’s email and UHS page confirm that the university is monitoring access to vaccines in New Jersey. Not yet, but ready to refer community members to NJ Health Department clinics. Students who receive MPX are encouraged to upload their immunization records to the MyUHS portal.
In addition to vaccines, the CDC notes that the antiviral treatment TPOXX (tecovarimat) is being investigated as a possible treatment option for people infected with MPX, following the published results of a UK retrospective observational study. increase. Its use has not been approved for the treatment of monkeypox, making it highly experimental, but via non-research Extended Access Investigational New Drug Protocols, it may be used for “early or initial empirical treatment” of monkeypox. The UHS agrees with the CDC’s criteria on this matter, stating that “only those who meet certain criteria are eligible for antiviral drugs.”
Anika Buch is Associate News Editor at Prince, typically focused on the STEM community and on-campus research.she can be reached at [email protected].
Tess Weinreich is an Assistant News Editor and contributor to “Prince”.she can be reached at [email protected].