COLLEGE PARK, Md. (DC NEWS NOW) — The University of Maryland says they have their first presumptive case of the monkeypox virus.

University Health Center Director Dr. Spyridon Marinopoulos sent out a letter on Wednesday saying a staff member is is believed to have tested positive for monkeypox. The school says the staff member as “taken necessary medical steps” and is doing well.

The school is now taking preventative measures to try and prevent the spread by implementing cleaning and disinfecting measures.

“We have already responded with appropriate cleaning and disinfection measures, as guided by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, to help ensure the safety of our students, faculty and staff. We are actively working with the Prince George’s County Health Department who will take the lead on notifying anyone who needs to be informed,” said Marinopoulous in the letter.

The university is asking the students to take additional steps to protect themselves:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like MPX. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with MPX.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with MPX has used. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with MPX.
  • 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.

While these steps can help prevent the spread, UMD says it is likely they may experience additional cases.

“As this disease continues to be present across the country and the world, it is likely we will experience MPX cases on campus. We are continuing to monitor the situation in partnership with our local and state health departments, and will communicate with you if additional guidance is required. Our University Health Center staff will be working with county health officials to monitor cases and coordinate targeted communication and response,” said Marinopoulous.

DC News Now spoke with student Ellie Whalen, who says the school is being proactive by implementing safety protocols.

“This is a bit triggering, because I don’t want to go through the process of another pandemic again,” said Whalen. “As for me, I will be wearing my mask and doing the things that I was doing during COVID.”

Students are set to return to school on Aug. 29th.