A red-shaded version of a 2003 microscopic image of the oval-shaped monkeypox virus.

A student at a Newton County, Ga., elementary school has tested positive for the monkeypox virus, district officials confirmed Aug. 23. A second student is being tested.

Credit: CDC file via AP

A student at an Atlanta-area elementary school has tested positive for monkeypox, according to a Georgia school district.

Newton County Schools officials were alerted Tuesday, Aug. 24, that a student at Mansfield Elementary School tested positive for the virus, according to a news release posted on the district’s website.

A student at Flint Hill Elementary School also is being tested for the virus, officials said.

“NCSS facilities employees will thoroughly clean and disinfect classrooms and other areas at both schools this afternoon to ensure ongoing safe and healthy learning and work environments for students and staff,” according to the release.

Officials have released few other details but said the schools will remain open as of Wednesday, Aug. 24. The child case comes more than two months after the Peach State confirmed its first case of the virus in June.

There were more than 15,900 confirmed monkeypox cases in the U.S. as of Tuesday, Aug. 23, as health officials across several states work to address the virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those cases, at least 17 are among children aged between 0 and 15 years old, data shows.

The Georgia Department of Public Health’s latest monkeypox case count shows 1,033 cases in the state as of Aug. 17. So far, the state has only recorded one pediatric case of the virus back in June.

Monkeypox can be spread through close or intimate contact, including prolonged face-to-face contact or by touching objects that were previously used by someone with an infection, according to the Atlanta-based CDC. A pregnant person can also spread the virus to their unborn child.

Symptoms of the virus include:

  • A rash that initially looks like pimples or blisters that become itchy or painful
  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Body aches

Mansfield is about 50 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with the Macon Telegraph.