Gwinnett schools confirm district’s first case of monkeypox

Principal says risk of transmission in school is minimal

A person in Gwinnett County’s Dacula Elementary School has a confirmed case of monkeypox, according to a letter sent to students’ families.

Principal Holly Warren distributed the letter Friday soon after learning of the case.

District spokesman Bernard Watson said the person with monkeypox was tested by Gwinnett, Newton, Rockdale Public Health. Watson did not know when the test occurred. The district has also not said if the person is an employee or student or provided any identifying information, citing privacy laws.

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In her letter, Warren assured families that the risk of transmission at school is minimal. Still, staff would “thoroughly clean and disinfect all affected areas of the school,” she said.

The district is contact tracing under guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Families of children who may have had close contact with the affected person received a notice.

“If you are not specifically notified with separate communication, your child was not identified as having close contact with a known case, and it is highly unlikely your child was exposed,” Warren said.

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The letter contained information about monkeypox symptoms and how it spreads — mainly through skin-to-skin contact and less commonly by touching fabrics, objects or surfaces used by someone with monkeypox.

Parents who think their child may have monkeypox should notify a primary care physician and their school nurse. The district continues to ask people who feel sick to stay home from school.

The person with monkeypox will remain away from the school until cleared by a medical professional, officials said.

To date, few monkeypox cases have been reported in Georgia schools. State health officials last week reported that three children were diagnosed with monkeypox, including one child who lives in metro Atlanta. The pediatric cases were “considered to be household transmission. ”The risk of in-school transmission of the virus is extremely low, state officials said.