Students feel safe but want more information on monkeypox


Fatima Rosales

Los Angeles Public Health expanded its vaccine eligibility for individuals.

Anthony Aguilar, Multimedia Reporter

Monkeypox is fairly new to the public, but  when it comes to students at Cal State LA, some have trust in the staff at the university for enforcing protocols.

Daisy Ponce, a psychology major, gives the example of the way staffers are with protocols in classrooms.

 “I feel safe knowing our campus is still enforcing guidelines to wear a mask in buildings. My professors make sure each student is correctly wearing a mask to ensure our health.”

She says the protocols make her feel safe while learning. 

Ponce, however, hasn’t received any information from the university about monkeypox.

 “As a transfer student in my first year here, I am still getting accustomed to the campus and I am aware of the Student Health building but I have not received any information on Monkeypox.”

Ponce said she doesn’t know much about monkeypox, but still sees it as a concern. 

“I personally have not been informed enough on what the symptoms are or how it compares to COVID, but I do feel like staying vaccinated and taking precautions is still very necessary,” she said. 

Other students have begun to question what appear to be rumors about monkeypox at the university. 

Israel Hernandez, a student who lives at the South Village dorm, explains certain Instagram posts allegedly saying monkeypox has arrived at the university but doesn’t think it’s true. He says, “apparently on tower 2 at the South Village dorm that there was a possible exposure, but they said possible exposure. I honestly think it’s kinda just fake.”

He said some are taking information serious, just in case: “My R.A. texted me about it, and to just be taking quick showers, and not contact as much with people, and definitely to wash your hands, stuff like that.”

He said the protocols for monkeypox could be similar to those of COVID.

“I’d feel like it would be like COVID,  and contacting the health center that way to alert people.”

Cal State LA’s webpage has some information about monkeypox, but not the number of cases, if any, have happened at the university. When it comes to information on how to prevent it, the website redirects to the County of Public Health of Los Angeles. 

According to the county website, it specifies that  “JYNNEOS, a vaccine that prevents Monkeypox Disease” is available to those who are considered at  higher risk.

The health department also has ways to prevent the spread. 

Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.” 

The website also reports the first related death: “The Los Angeles Department of Public Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has confirmed the first death due to monkeypox in a Los Angeles County resident.”

The university directed the UT to Dr. Paul Kim, the Cal State LA medical chief of staff and director of the Student Health Center.

” To our knowledge, one student in our community has tested positive for monkeypox thus far,” said Kim. “We have discussed the case with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and have followed all recommendations.”

Kim said that university will continue to follow the guidance of health experts with regards to monkeypox.

This story has been updated on Sept. 20, adding a statement from the university.