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Monkeypox Virus Outbreak & Vaccine Information

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared the monkeypox virus outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

monkeypox virus
Monkeypox example

The decision was announced Saturday morning after WHO convened its second emergency committee on the issue on Thursday.

“I have decided that the global monkeypox outbreak represents a public health emergency of international concern,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced on Saturday morning.

What are Monkeypox Symptoms?

According to the CDC website, Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.

Prevention includes avoiding close contact, sexual contact, bodily fluids, and sharing food or dishes. For full details, please check out the CDC website.

Monkeypox Vaccine Information

  • Two vaccines licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) are available for preventing monkeypox infection – JYNNEOS (also known as Imvamune or Imvanex) and ACAM2000.
  • In the United States, there is currently a limited supply of JYNNEOS, although more is expected in coming weeks and months.
  • There is an ample supply of ACAM2000. However, this vaccine should not be used in people who have some health conditions, including a weakened immune system, skin conditions like atopic dermatitis/eczema, or pregnancy.
  • No data are available yet on the effectiveness of these vaccines in the current outbreak.
  • People are considered fully vaccinated about 2 weeks after their second shot of JYNNEOS and 4 weeks after receiving ACAM2000. However, people who get vaccinated should continue to take steps to protect themselves from infection by avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact, including intimate contact, with someone who has monkeypox.
  • To better understand the protective benefits of these vaccines in the current outbreak, CDC will collect data on any side effects and whether the way the person was infected makes any difference in how well the vaccine protects them.

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