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North Dakota Department of Health works with colleges to stop monkeypox

A health care worker fills a syringe
Lynne Sladky
/
Prairie Public Newsroom
.

As students head back to school, the North Dakota Department of Health is working with colleges to stop the spread of monkeypox. Brenton Nesemeier is an epidemiologist with the North Dakota Department of Health. He says they have not seen many cases in colleges across the nation so far, but they are preparing in case the virus starts spreading.

"We are currently reaching out to them now that colleges are going to be back on campus and trying to get them to become enrolled vaccine providers so that they can administer the vaccine on campus especially to those who are at risk and those who may have been exposed. We continue to work with them to try to offer vaccination or see if we can assist with providing vaccination at various events they may have."

Nesemeier says the current requirement to receive the monkeypox vaccination is to be a man who has sex with men, but they will vaccinate others following a risk assessment.

"We will work with student health and educate them on how they can prevent monkeypox, whether its reducing the number of sex partners they have, knowing who their sex partner is, knowing what the signs and symptoms are, and when to seek out testing. Then, if there is a positive case identified on a college campus, and they live in dormitory style housing, we'll work with those suitemates or those roommates to provide vaccination and then we'll work with the college to ensure that the positive case is isolated in a dorm away from their suitemates or their roommates."