Monkeypox cases continue to rise in Los Angeles County, and as immunization coverage expands, more questions have been raised about how easily it can spread after a local school district reported a female employee tested positive.

In an email to parents, Burbank Unified School District Superintendent Matt Hill said, “We have received word that one of our staff has a confirmed case of monkeypox that required safety precautions.”

Hill added that as a precaution, the district has taken additional disinfection measures.

Tuesday’s Los Angeles City Council meeting raised questions about how easily the virus can spread.

“Could this eventually be something that will be passed on among young children in day care centers and other places?” asked Councilor Paul Koretz.

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“The mode of transmission appears to be prolonged skin-to-skin contact. Currently, we don’t see widespread prevalence among school-age children,” said Dr. Nava Yeganeh, LA County Director of Preventive Disease Control.

Yeganeh added that transmission through bedding and clothing is possible, but officials have seen no evidence of transmission this way.

“We do encourage individuals to wear gloves when changing linens, but we haven’t really seen a lot of proliferation that way,” she said.

The county reports 1,208 cases, the vast majority of whom identify as men who have sex with men. Despite limited vaccines, the county expanded immunization eligibility to include gay or bisexual men and transgender people who have had intimate contact with people at major events in the past 14 days.

“We also added a new category where people of any gender or sexual orientation who have had commercial or transactional sex in the past 14 days are also now eligible,” Yeganah said.

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