LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- As students across California get ready to return to college campuses, the coronavirus pandemic is not the only major health concern they now face. Several universities and colleges are now alerting students about the spread of monkeypox.
UCLA, UC Riverside and UC Irvine now feature monkeypox warning pages on their webistes, asking students to take precautions to keep the virus from spreading.
"They've emailed us, telling us that they're aware of the situation and that they'll keep updating us if anything changes or if we need to do anything," said student Josh Lee.
No U.S. deaths have been associated with monkeypox, but the virus often leaves people with lifelong scarring and other health issues.
Across the country, roughly 9,500 cases of monkeypox have been reported, with the Centers for Disease Control showing 1,310 in California. San Francisco and Los Angeles are two of the hardest hit cities.
"Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands," said Dr. Ilan Shapiro, the chief medical correspondent for AltaMed Health Services. "And make sure you're cleaning around yourself and your teammates. That actually will reduce the possibilities of it jumping, not just with monkeypox, but other viruses, from one person to another."
Shapiro says even though the virus has almost exclusively struck men who have sex with other men, he and federal health officials stress it is not a sexually transmitted disease and is generally spread through close, prolonged contact.
"This virus goes anywhere. It doesn't care who you love, where you are or where you're from," Shapiro said. "If you're a human, you're a target."