Health and Wellness Resources
When students stay healthy throughout the year, absence due to illness is significantly reduced. Healthy students are ready to learn, and regular attendance supports teaching and learning in Gwinnett's classrooms. The following resources offer helpful tips and reminders about practicing good health and hygiene habits.
2022-23 Back to School Information
What guidance is GCPS following for monkeypox?
We are monitoring the situation and are working with public health authorities to stop the further spread of the current monkeypox outbreak and keeping up to date on the most current guidance. If we all know the facts and work together, we can help to stop the spread of monkeypox.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus, part of the same family of viruses that causes smallpox. Monkeypox virus, however, is milder and is rarely fatal.
Monkeypox can make you sick, with symptoms like a rash, which may look like pimples, blisters, or sores, sometimes with flu-like symptoms prior to the rash. It is important to know that globally, over 99% of monkeypox cases have been reported among adults.
Signs and symptoms: Characteristic rash that begins as flat spots that turn into fluid-filled pustules and vesicles which rupture, scab over then develop new skin once the scabs fall off. Patients may also have a prodrome with fever, headache, chills, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, respiratory symptoms (for example: sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough).
Duration of illness: illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.
Incubation Period: it can take 3 – 17 days after exposure to develop symptoms if infection has occurred.
Contagious period: an infected individual is contagious from the first day of symptoms until the rash is fully healed (all scabs have fallen off and new skin has grown over the areas).
Transmission: Anyone can get monkeypox. People spread monkeypox to other people primarily through direct, intimate, skin to skin contact with infected body fluids or when sharing bedding, clothing or towels. It can also spread through large respiratory droplets from infected people, but is much more difficult to transmit through this route than COVID-19. During the current outbreak in the US, transmission has primarily occurred through close intimate contact with someone who is infected. It has affected largely the adult population (>99.9% of all reported cases) with limited infections in children and teens who are household contacts to someone who is infected. It is anticipated, however, that as cases rise in the US, that there will be additional cases in the pediatric population.
Schools are encouraged to continue following mitigation strategies implemented routinely and during the COVID-19 pandemic which will also serve to mitigate transmission of monkeypox. These include:
- Adhering closely to sick policies for staff and students.
- Encouraging frequent hand-washing and/or use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Utilizing appropriate PPE (as a reminder, staff should wear medical masks, gowns and gloves if anticipating coming in contact with blood or body fluids - of specific concern are fluid-filled lesions associated with monkeypox.
- Isolating ill individuals immediately until they leave the school and recommending anyone with symptoms consistent with monkeypox consult a health care provider immediately.
- Cleaning common touch surfaces frequently following manufacturer’s instructions and contact times.
The risk to most people remains low, but knowledge empowers us all and keeps us healthy! For more information about monkeypox, visit Monkeypox in the United States | Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC, contact your health care provider, or please click here to visit the Gwinnett Newton Rockdale (GNR) Public Health website.