With six thousand confirmed cases of the disease in the United States since mid-May, the US has declared Monkeypox a public health emergency. Health officials believe that the number of cases is likely understated, as recent cases have only been reported from community spread. A public health emergency calls for additional boots on the ground to help fight the outbreak and to educate the public about the disease. Once a vaccine is developed, it will be widely available for people who may be exposed to monkeypox.
Five Million Doses Of Jynneos Vaccine Ordered
The US ordered five million doses of a monkeypox vaccine in July, but it has not arrived yet. It is scheduled to arrive in the US later this year or in 2023. But the US is still in need of more vaccines to contain the outbreak. As of August, the Strategic National Stockpile holds 1.7 million doses of the TPOXX vaccine, which is used to combat smallpox.
The Food and Drug Administration has been reviewing the process of “dose sparing” to increase the availability of the vaccine in affected areas. This would require health care providers to split a single vial into five separate doses. The vaccine would then be administered intradermally, between the layers of skin, instead of subcutaneously. Ultimately, the vaccine would remain completely safe for the recipient.
Monkeypox Spreads Through Prolonged Skin-To-Skin Contact
Because the monkeypox virus is spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, people with the disease can infect others through shared objects and intimate physical contact. While people without the virus cannot infect others, the signs and symptoms of the disease can be recognizable even before a rash develops. Monkeypox can also cause isolated rashes in the genital area and other body parts. The lesion is usually painful and itchy for a few days and can last for several weeks, requiring patients to be home. Children who are already sick with another disease are at higher risk for developing the virus as they can’t get rid of it in time.
In addition to skin-to-skin contact, monkeypox is also spread through animals. Infected animals include primates and rodents. Keeping animals away from humans can reduce the risk of infection. Additionally, cooking meat will reduce the risk of infection. Monkeypox can also be transmitted through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.
While monkeypox is typically associated with men who have sexual intercourse, pregnant women can be affected. While the incidence of monkeypox in pregnancy is low, there are concerns about foetal outcomes. As a result, the Royal College of Obstetrics and Gynaecologists has published recommendations for pregnant women. In the meantime, the virus continues to spread from animal to human, despite the WHO’s recommendations for preventive action.
So, People At The Highest Risk Of Exposure Should Get The Jab
Although the vaccine is not available at every healthcare facility, it is still important to get vaccinated, especially if you’re at high risk of exposure to the disease. The federal Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) is one place that stocks the monkeypox vaccine. Healthcare providers should consult their local public health departments to determine where they can get the vaccine. If you’re at high risk, you should get the jab before travelling to countries with monkeypox-endemic areas.
There are many ways to get the monkeypox jab, including through sex. The virus can be spread through sexual intercourse, and it is most common in Africa. People with multiple sex partners or anonymous sex partners are especially at risk. If you think you might have been exposed to monkeypox, get tested to be sure. You may have visited a high-risk event or venue. Public Health will work with event organisers to identify persons who are susceptible to the disease.
The Bottom Line
In case you suspect you might have monkeypox, stay at home and avoid contact with other people. If you have monkeypox, be sure to cover any lesions and sores. The disease typically clears up within two to four weeks. Treatment options include antiviral medications. If you get monkeypox, you should contact your primary health care provider as soon as possible, and your doctor will discuss vaccination options with you.