Colleges & Universities

Concern That Colleges Could Fuel More Monkeypox Spread Ahead of Fall Semester

There have been over 100 cases of the virus reported so far in Massachusetts

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The start of the fall semester for local colleges and universities is now just weeks away, but health experts are voicing concern over how that could impact the spread of monkeypox.

Health officials are urging college administrators to have a plan in place to deal with the virus. Meanwhile, the Biden Administration says more than 780,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine will be available starting Friday.

Cases of the virus are climbing around the world and here in Massachusetts. Health experts say college students need to pay close attention to the startling trends.

With monkeypox spreading, infectious disease doctors say colleges should be prepared.

Dr. Rachel Cox, an epidemiologist at MGH Institute of Health Professions, and says she expects the number of cases to grow rapidly as college students head back to campus.

"I think it's definitely possible for college campuses to be the next hot spot," Dr. Cox said. "It's obviously an area where there's a lot of close contact, you know, living in dorms. There also tends to be a lot more sexual activity, experimentation and things like that."

There have been 115 reported cases of the virus in the Bay State, mainly in adult men.

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