Hi, I’m Dr. Nilesh Kalyanaraman, the Health Officer for Anne Arundel County. Welcome to our Weekly Health Update. Last week we talked about the symptoms of monkeypox and how it spreads. Today, we’re going to continue our conversation on Monkeypox.
What happens if you get monkeypox?
Most people who get monkeypox will have a self limited and mild course of the disease. People who have severe disease or who are at higher risk for severe disease should be considered for treatment with medication. People who are high risk for severe disease include those who are:
- 8 years old or younger
- Have certain types of chronic skin conditions
- Pregnant or breastfeeding
If you have monkeypox, your doctor will work with you to see if you need treatment.
What happens if I’ve been in contact with someone who has monkeypox?
When someone is diagnosed with monkeypox, the Health Department does contact tracing to identify any close contacts. All close contacts are offered vaccination which greatly reduces their chance of developing monkeypox and spreading it to others. Vaccination is effective in breaking the chain of transmission because it takes 1 to 2 weeks for symptoms to develop after exposure and monkeypox only spreads when someone has symptoms.
Who is eligible for vaccines?
Right now, there’s enough vaccine to vaccinate people who are close contacts of someone with monkeypox. Planning is underway with the state to provide vaccination for groups at high risk of being exposed to monkeypox. Higher risk groups include people who have multiple sexual partners or anonymous sexual partners. As vaccine supplies increase, vaccination will be expanded to high risk groups.
If you have any signs or symptoms of monkeypox see your doctor or seek treatment from an urgent care center. For more information you can go to our website at aahealth.org/monkeypox.
Stay safe and be kind to yourself and others. We’ll see you next week.