Onslow County health officials discuss preparations for Monkeypox

Onslow County health officials discuss preparations for Monkeypox
Published: Jun. 23, 2022 at 6:49 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - We wanted to see how health officials in eastern Carolina are preparing for the spread of monkeypox. We reached out to Onslow County officials to hear what they’re doing.

“Monkeypox is far less transmissible than Covid,” explained Onslow County Communicable Disease Nurse Supervisor Kimberly Collins. Even so, North Carolina is now the 23rd state infected. The CDC says there are more than 3,000 cases of monkeypox around the world.

The spread is leading to more focus on testing.

“They have sent out testing guidance, so if anyone were to present symptoms that would need testing, we are prepared for that,” Collins explained. Onslow County Health officials say they are making sure area doctors are prepared. “The state periodically sends out memos and updates of testing practices and symptoms and things to look out for, and we share that information with our providers.”

There are specific things to keep an eye out for.

“Typically monkeypox begins with flu-like symptoms and then progresses into a rash. They’re seeing a lot more with this strain of it in the genital area,” Collins said.

ECU Health System Epidemiology Medical Director Thomas Ryan Gallaher suggests communicating with your doctor if you notice any symptoms.

“Just understand how this is spread and be smart and know the risk factors of acquisition and it’s close and intimate contact and just be mindful of that. I think that’s one of the most important take-home points,” Gallaher said.

The WHO is meeting to decide if monkeypox is a global public health emergency. Onslow County Health Officials say they won’t make any changes on a local level regardless of that decision.

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