BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — College students are preparing to return to campus right as the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported over 10,000 monkeypox cases in the nation Wednesday.

In Louisiana, the CDC reports 97 monkeypox cases. The first known case in Louisiana was confirmed by the state’s health department on July 7. Health officials describe monkeypox as a viral illness with symptoms that are flu-like and bumpy rashes. The virus is typically spread through direct contact.

There is a vaccine for monkeypox, but there was reportedly a limited supply in the state earlier this month, according to the Louisiana Department of Health (LDH). On Wednesday, LDH said the FDA authorized an alternative dosing regimen which increased the total number of doses available.

Students return to LSU’s campus for classes on Monday, Aug. 22, and before stepping onto campus LSU shares how it will be monitoring monkeypox.

What LSU is doing to prepare for possible monkeypox outbreaks:

  • The LSU Office of Emergency Preparedness, the Student Health Center, and Residential Life are working with Our Lady of the Lake and FMOL Health System to ensure we have testing capacity and protocols in place for any student presenting with symptoms or questions
  • The Office of Emergency Preparedness is participating in Louisiana Department of Health briefings and will continue to implement recommended protocols for students, faculty and staff
  • The Louisiana Department of Health will work with LSU to conduct contact tracing for anyone who becomes infected and will offer the vaccine to high-risk exposures
  • The Office of Emergency Preparedness will provide PPE to all responding staff
  • LSU Environmental Health & Safety will remove any hazardous waste from campus
  • LSU will continue to offer educational information to help students and employees protect themselves

For a list of monkeypox vaccine locations in Louisiana, click here. For more information on monkeypox in Louisiana from health officials, visit ldh.la.gov/monkeypox.