First Monkeypox Case Reported in CCSD School

Palo Verde confirms diagnosis

The+first+case+of+monkeypox+has+been+reported+at+Palo+Verde.+After+less+than+a+month+in+school%2C+a+new+national+health+emergency+has+reached+CCSD.+%E2%80%9CMost+of+my+friends+and+people+at+school+are+reacting+in+the+same+way+I+did%2C%E2%80%9D+Palo+Verde+Sophomore+Spencer+Ladd+said.+%E2%80%9CHonestly+it+mostly+became+a+joke+among+my+peers.%E2%80%9D+Photo+Credit%3A+wikimedia+commons

The first case of monkeypox has been reported at Palo Verde. After less than a month in school, a new national health emergency has reached CCSD. “Most of my friends and people at school are reacting in the same way I did,” Palo Verde Sophomore Spencer Ladd said. “Honestly it mostly became a joke among my peers.” Photo Credit: wikimedia commons

Tishie Nyitray

The first monkeypox case in CCSD was reported after someone at Palo Verde was confirmed to have tested positive for the disease. So far, there have been 17,432 cases nationwide and 127 in Nevada.

“It has come to our attention that a person at Palo Verde High School has been diagnosed with monkeypox. Monkeypox is not generally spread in the classroom setting,” Palo Verde Principal Lisa Schumacher said in a ParentLink message. “We are currently working with the Southern Nevada Health District as they investigate the situation to determine who may need additional evaluation. The Southern Nevada Health District will notify parents and guardians if it is determined that your child needs to be tested or monitored.” 

The virus can be transmitted from one person to another by prolonged face-to-face contact, direct contact with monkeypox sores or bodily fluids. Because of the way the infection spreads, some students are less worried about contracting monkeypox than they were with COVID-19.

“I really wasn’t concerned when I heard the news because I realized that it is only spread by close contact with the person and they were already quarantined,” Palo Verde sophomore Spencer Ladd said. “I am not worried that we will go back into a lockdown because I feel we will have more control over monkeypox than COVID-19. I feel like the school is handling the situation somewhat well because they were quick to respond and quarantine the person.”

However, some students are not as quick to disregard the severity of the situation.

“I feel like a lot of people really aren’t taking this seriously, which is what we saw at the beginning of COVID-19,” senior Alyssa Miguel said. “I’m not too sure how fast the cases are rising, but everyone should still be taking precautions to protect themselves. I really hope people have learned from COVID-19 and are taking the right steps to keep everyone safe and healthy.”

While still reeling from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, certain people aren’t ready to catch another virus. 

“Having COVID-19 heavily impacted my mental health and the process of quarantining was really difficult,” junior Victoria Khoury-Yacoub said. “I’ve found that after my experience, I am much more mindful of keeping myself healthy and safe. I pay a lot more attention to what’s going around and I make sure to know how to not catch it.”

People can also contract the virus by coming into contact with objects or fabrics that have been used by someone who has the disease. In the Fashion Design program at SWCTA, students commonly share sewing machines and use communal fabrics. 

“I truly do not expect monkeypox to impact the education of the students at Southwest in any meaningful way,” Fashion Design teacher Levi Harbeson said. “In the situation that we had an exposure in the room, we would need to find a way to decontaminate the fabric. Studies show the virus has been found 15 days after a patient’s home was left unoccupied, and porous material like fabrics can harbor the virus for a longer time.”

As the virus is still relatively new, some health professionals think the best way to handle the situation is to not panic and to continue doing the basics.  

“It really just comes down to good hygiene habits,” Nursing Assistant teacher Cassandra Trummel said. “It’s washing our hands. It’s using hand sanitizer. It’s cleaning the desk around us, distancing ourselves if we can, but there isn’t really anything else you can do. As a nurse, I can’t overreact to things like this, so personally, I am not worried.”

The Southern Nevada Health District is offering monkeypox vaccines, but currently, there are no appointments available. The LGBTQIA+ community center reported that it is currently out of the monkeypox vaccine also. However, the CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox right now.

“Appointments open as vaccine supplies allow, so we do not open slots for weeks and months at a time,” SNHD said in a tweet. “Please check periodically as cancellations and receipt of additional vaccines could mean that slots could open at any time.”