Students, athletes express concerns about monkeypox outbreak
September 30, 2022
Senior Kennedy Fayton-Guzman first learned of the monkeypox outbreak from her mother, a nurse who warned her to be wary of monkeypox the same way people were and are of COVID-19.
“Honestly, I wasn’t (worried) at the beginning of the school year,” said Fayton-Guzman, a basketball player. “But now that I’m going into sports and we’re going to start playing games, I’m a bit concerned because having contact with other people, you never know.”
The 2022 outbreak of monkeypox in the United States involves the less severe of the virus’ two versions. But as of Sept. 14, it has accumulated over 23,000 cases and one death since its introduction
to the states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The virus spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact and the CDC says some of its symptoms include a rash, fever and chills, muscle aches, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes.
While the original source of the monkeypox virus is unknown, its discovery can be attributed to 1958 when the virus was discovered in two colonies of monkeys being used for research
purposes. The first human case of the virus was recorded in 1970 and prior to its resurgence in 2022, almost all reported cases of it spurred from central and western African countries with the cause being linked to interaction with infected imported animals.
“I’m not too concerned about it,” said junior Arvin Khosravy, a member of the Birmingham Community Charter High School’s boys wrestling team. “As long as you’re healthy, hopefully, or somewhat healthy, you should be fine and within a couple of weeks, the disease should be killed out.”
Khosravy also mentioned that it’s routine for skin checks to be performed prior to a match to determine whether or not someone is fit to wrestle, which allows a sense of security for him when participating in the sport.
In a poll of 15 students conducted by The Pearl Post, 53.3% of participants said they were concerned about monkeypox. Of those participants, 62.5% said ‘Yes’ and 37.5% said ‘Maybe’ to getting a vaccine if it became available to those under 18. The primary reason for the other 46.7% saying they weren’t concerned was that they hadn’t heard enough about monkeypox, although 85.7% of those said ‘Maybe’ to taking the vaccine if it became available.
“I think the fact that it’s not talked about makes me concerned,” said a senior who took the poll. “The information I have is limited, but from what I understand, it’s transmitted through close contact. Even if that sug
gests that I shouldn’t worry about it, the fact that that’s all I know shows that there’s a lot of potential for those misinformed.”
The 2022 monkeypox outbreak hasn’t been given the amount of attention that COVID-19 received due to its low lethality and its lack of a pandemic status. However, sites like the CDC and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (LACDPH) have made sure to stay updated on reliable information for those under 18 who want to know more about the virus and how to prevent and treat it until an official vaccine for that age group is released.
To prevent the spread of monkeypox, the LACDPH advises that you get vaccinated if eligible (for those under 18, you currently must be considered high risk to be eligible) and avoid intimate contact with anyone showing monkeypox symptoms as well as the person’s bedding, towels or other items that haven’t been washed. For more information on the monkeypox outbreak, visit the official CDC and LACDPH websites on the topic.