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Monkeypox In Georgia Update: What To Know

Hand sanitizer and face mask used to prevent monkeypox in Atlanta

The first cases of monkeypox popped up in the United Kingdom in May 2022. It raised alarm bells that the world may soon deal with another pandemic on the heels of COVID-19

But what’s the status of monkeypox right now? Is there a monkeypox vaccine? Let’s explore where it is, monkeypox symptoms, and FAQs.

What Is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a viral disease. Caused by the monkeypox virus, monkeypox shares the same genus (Orthopoxvirus) as smallpox.

Monkeypox spreads from animals to humans, meaning it's a zoonotic virus. However, it's still unknown whether or not monkeypox originates from monkeys.

Monkeypox has been around for decades, with the first human case in 1970. And 2022 isn't the first time the United States dealt with monkeypox.

In 2003, the disease made its way to the U.S. from animals from Ghana. However, back then, there were only 47 confirmed cases.

Monkeypox FAQs

The appearance of monkeypox on the global stage raised many questions. Let's answer some of the most common questions about the virus regarding symptoms, transmission, and monkeypox vaccines.

Where Does Monkeypox Come From?

The virus is endemic in Nigeria and made its way to the United Kingdom, where it was first discovered in May 2022.

How Does Monkeypox Spread?

There are a few ways that Monkeypox spreads from person to person:

The focus of the outbreak has been on men who have sex with men.

But technically, anyone could get infected through close sexual contact with infectious individuals.

The WHO is confident that proper mitigation measures, limiting sexual partners, and isolating when infected, can curb the monkeypox outbreak.

What Are Monkeypox Symptoms?

The main symptom of monkeypox is the blisters that appear on the body. These blisters can show anywhere but tend to appear near the genitals.

These blisters can be extremely painful and itchy, lasting for a few weeks.

Other symptoms of monkeypox are:

In short, other than the signature blisters, the symptoms of monkeypox are flu-like.

Is Monkeypox Fatal?

While it's not impossible that monkeypox can lead to death, it is extremely rare. 99% of people with a monkeypox case survive, according to the CDC. This specific type of monkeypox is called the Clade IIb, which, thankfully, is not fatal compared to its counterpart, Clade I.

The people most at risk are those with existing health problems like immune disorders. Likewise, children under eight years old and pregnant women are at increased risk for more severe symptoms and cases.

Is Monkeypox Going To Be The Next Pandemic?

It's hard to state with certainty. But as of September 2022, the World Health Organization (WHO) has not classified the outbreak as a pandemic like COVID-19. Unlike COVID-19, this virus is much less contagious and deadly.

Right now, it's classified as an outbreak. An outbreak is a larger volume of cases in a particular area over a short period.

Monkeypox is endemic to Africa, meaning there is a constant presence and spread in a specific area.

Viruses and diseases that transcend international borders with a higher level of spread classify as a pandemic, but with some caveats.

Just because a disease spreads to different countries doesn't mean there's a pandemic. COVID-19 became a pandemic because of its global reach and how contagious it is from person to person.

Is There A Monkeypox Vaccine?

Yes. The JYNNEOS vaccine and the ACAM2000 vaccine are approved to prevent both monkeypox and smallpox.

People taking the vaccine take it in two doses, 28 days apart.

The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people stay vigilant about getting their second doses. The level of protection from just one dose isn't known yet.

It's crucial to get your vaccinations to prevent the spread of monkeypox.

Monkeypox In Georgia: The Numbers

As of September 21, 2022, there are currently 1,717 active cases of monkeypox in Georgia, according to the CDC case map.

Where Do I Get The Monkeypox Vaccine In Atlanta?

The monkeypox vaccine is available in Georgia. According to the Georgia Department Of Public Health, you can find and schedule a vaccine appointment through its website.

You can also call the Vaccine Scheduling Resource Line at (888) 457-0186.

Take Care Of Yourself With WestsideMed

At WestsideMed, we offer numerous urgent care services in Atlanta, along with vaccines and annual physicals.

Whether it's the new bivalent COVID-19 booster or information on monkeypox, get in contact with us today. Start looking after your health with our talented team of medical specialists in an inclusive, welcoming environment!

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