Monday, December 11, 2023

Denton County releases monkeypox vaccine registration

Denton County Public Health on Friday released an online form for eligible community members to register for monkeypox vaccination.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for people exposed to monkeypox and people who may be more likely to get monkeypox. Current eligibility for monkeypox vaccination through DCPH includes:

  • Individuals who had known contact with an individual who tested positive for monkeypox within the previous 14 days
  • A man who has sex with men and has had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the previous 14 days
  • Individuals who had a sexual partner in the previous 14 days who was showing symptoms of monkeypox at time of intimate contact, such as a rash or sores
  • Individuals with a diagnosis of HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or early syphilis within the previous 12 months
  • Individuals who are on HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis

Vaccine supply is currently limited, according to a news release from DCPH. At this time, DCPH will offer vaccination to Denton County residents. Individuals who reside outside Denton County should contact their local or regional health department regarding vaccine eligibility and availability.

Monkeypox vaccination is recommended to prevent infection in individuals exposed to the virus. People who are vaccinated should continue to take steps to protect themselves from infection by avoiding close skin-to-skin contact with someone who has monkeypox or symptoms of monkeypox

Anyone can contract monkeypox, DCPH officials said. The LGBTQ community is affected the most with approximately 98 percent of all cases impacting gay or bisexual men.

Monkeypox transmission occurs through close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox, including contact with objects contaminated with the virus from contact with an infected person, according to DCPH. Monkeypox is primarily spread through contact with infectious sores, scabs, or bodily fluids. The virus can spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact.

Monkeypox often begins with fever, intense headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. The time from infection to developing symptoms is usually seven to 14 days; however, individuals may develop symptoms five to 21 days after exposure.  Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider and avoid gatherings, sex or being intimate with anyone until they consult their healthcare provider.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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