Health experts explain symptoms, treatments for monkeypox virus

Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 8:53 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - The United States has reported more than 3,400 suspected or confirmed monkeypox cases and leads the rest of the world in the number of infections since the onset of the virus.

Monkeypox was first discovered in the 1950′s. Because vaccines have already been developed, the United States is better prepared to tackle the virus, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. According to the Pitt County Health Department, the most commonly affected population includes gay men and bisexual men.

While the transmission of the monkeypox virus is commonly confused with the way COVID-19 spreads, it is very different.

“If I’m in the room with you and I have COVID, there is a reasonable chance you may get COVID-19 from being in that room with me. And that is not monkeypox, that is not how Monkeypox works,” Dr. Zack Moore, NCDHHS epidemiologist said.

Monkeypox mostly spreads through close skin-to-skin contact, according to health officials, which can include during sex, and that is the way that most of the spread is happening during the current outbreak. Symptoms of the virus include fever, painful skin lesions, rashes, and sores.

North Carolina has around 4,500 available vaccines, which can vaccinate about 2,250 people as they are a two-dose series.

Testing for monkeypox is available throughout the state, and if you are experiencing any of the listed symptoms, you are encouraged to contact your primary care physician.

If you do not have one, you can contact the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services for help with testing.

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