Art by Cherianne Yoon

Monkeypox cases decrease

After the results of Stanford research data found the Monkeypox virus in Palo Alto’s wastewater, city officials say they are monitoring the situation to contain and prevent the virus’s spread.

According to the California Department of Public Health, 134 cases of Monkeypox were reported in Santa Clara County in August. This number, however, has been steadily decreasing.

With San Francisco being one of the main infection zones for the virus, some people have expressed concerns of a possible COVID-19-like Monkeypox pandemic in the Bay Area. 

However, PAUSD Health Services Coordinator Rosemarie Dowell said she does not think a Monkeypox pandemic will happen. 

“As of right now, the spread in the general community is very low,” Dowell said. “Everybody in public health is just watching and monitoring.”

Dowell said the preventative measures for Monkeypox are the same as those used for COVID-19 and other illnesses.

“Our normal prevention measures that we’ve been using for COVID-19 or regular illnesses like the flu are really important,” Dowell said. “So hand washing, or if you’re sick, staying home.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says the symptoms of Monkeypox include rashes, fever, coughing, swollen lymph nodes, muscle and back aches and exhaustion.

 In data released by the California Department of Public Health, the highest number of cases reported in the state in one day was on Aug. 1. 

Since then, the spread of the virus has decreased considerably. On Aug. 26, the number of new cases was two. 

Regardless of the spread of the virus, students like junior Rohit Seshadri say they aren’t afraid. Seshadri said he thinks the virus will not affect his day-to-day life.

“I don’t think it’s going to become bigger,” Seshadri said. “And if it did, I would never care. I mean, right now the numbers don’t show anything.” 

And Dowel said Monkeypox is far less contagious than COVID-19 and can only be transmitted through intimate contact. Unlike COVID-19, it is not airborne which makes the disease much harder to contract.

Because of this, junior Maxwell Zhang said he doubts he will need to take extra precautions to protect himself. 

“It’s transmitted by touch, so I don’t think it will spread too much,” Zhang said. “Because it’s not that severe, I wouldn’t put too much thought into it.”

Dowell also said school health authorities aren’t expecting any large spread within schools.

“We’re not anticipating any large spread on school campuses or anything like that,” Dowell said. “That hasn’t been seen yet.”