Monkeypox is an infection caused by the monkeypox virus, which is part of the same virus family that causes smallpox. It is a rare disease. However, monkeypox was declared a public health emergency in the United States on August 4th, 2022 (1).
In the US, monkeypox is disproportionately impacting gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, as well as racial and ethnic minority groups. Of the cases reported in the US, 99% are among men, with 94% being among men who have sex with men (1). Additionally, the reported cases show that 26% are among Black people and 28% are among Hispanic people. However, these groups respectively make up only 12% and 19% of the total US population(1).
Monkeypox is mainly spread through close, personal contact with a person that is infected with the virus (4), which includes touching, kissing, hugging, cuddling, or sex. It can also spread by touching surfaces, objects, or fabrics used by a person who is infected.
If a person is exposed to monkeypox, it can take anywhere between 5 to 21 days to experience symptoms. Symptoms will first begin as flu-like symptoms, then a rash will appear 1 to 4 days after. The rash can occur on the genitals, anus, hands, feet, torso, face, or mouth. A monkeypox infection can last between 2 to 4 weeks (5).
Ways to Protect Yourself and Loved Ones (4):
- Do not engage in any skin-to-skin contact if someone has a rash that looks like monkeypox or has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
- Avoid prolonged face-to-face interactions.
- Wash your hands often.
- Be mindful of activities that involve close, personal, or skin-to-skin contact (such as music festivals).
Monkeypox Vaccine is Available
You can now make an appointment in Nevada to receive the JYNNEOS vaccine. Clinical trials have shown this vaccine is effective and has been approved to prevent monkeypox and smallpox. People that are high risk and over the age of 18 are recommended to receive the vaccine. If you have been exposed to monkeypox, the vaccine can also help reduce the risk of infection if administered within 4 days after exposure and within 14 days to prevent serious illness. You will need two doses, four weeks apart. Full immunity happens two weeks after the second dose. The vaccine is available in limited supply, so it is vital to continue to take precautionary measures to avoid infection.
Check out the Southern Nevada Health District website for more information about monkeypox and JYNNEOS vaccine eligibility criteria.
More Information About Monkeypox:
- Philpott, D., Hughes, C. M., Alroy, K. A., Kerins, J. L., Pavlick, J., Asbel, L., Crawley, A., Newman, A. P., Spencer, H., Feldpausch, A., Cogswell, K., Davis, K. R., Chen, J., Henderson, T., Murphy, K., Barnes, M., Hopkins, B., Fill, M.-M. A., Mangla, A. T., … Johnson, S. (2022). Epidemiologic and clinical characteristics of Monkeypox cases — United States, May 17–July 22, 2022. MMWR. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, 71(32), 1018–1022. https://doi.org/10.15585/mmwr.mm7132e3
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, August 9). 2022 Monkeypox Outbreak Global Map. https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/world-map.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, August 10). 2022 U.S. Map & Case Count. https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/us-map.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, July 29). How it Spreads. https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/transmission.html
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (2022, August 5). Monkeypox symptoms. https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/symptoms.html