How concerned should parents be about their child contracting monkeypox in school settings? A Duke Health pediatric expert says that while children are susceptible to the virus, it's not likely to spread rapidly once schools reopen this fall. 

Dr. Ibukun Kalu is an assistant professor of pediatrics at the Duke School of Medicine and a medical director of pediatric infection prevention at Duke University Medical Center.

Kalu says that any cases of monkeypox in children will likely come from a household setting, not a school outbreak.

"It's important to emphasize it's prolonged exposure, prolonged contact," says Kalu. "We're not expecting that child care settings and schools will see rampant monkeypox infections run through the kids, but it is possible for children to get infected."

Kalu says while the key presenting symptom of monkeypox is a rash, children are prone to rashes from other vaccine-preventable diseases, and parents should not jump to conclusions about the cause.

She says it's important that adults seek care if they have a new rash or have an exposure prior to working in a child care setting. 

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