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Monkeypox: What you should know

"This is spread principally by skin to skin"
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Posted at 5:29 PM, Jul 21, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-25 18:30:50-04

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — New York State is currently reporting the greatest number of monkeypox cases in the nation and that is why the state is working to secure more vaccines. But you should not be alarmed over this outbreak, however, you should be informed.

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Dr. Mary Bassett, Commissioner, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

“It's not aerosolized in the way that measles is or COVID is — this is spread principally by skin to skin — face to face contact — meaning literally face to face,” described Dr. Mary Bassett, Commissioner, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH).

Commissioner Bassett appeared Wednesday at a news conference with Governor Kathy Hochul to discuss the current outbreak — calling it a growing concern.   

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Images of monkeybox

While anyone could get monkeypox health experts emphasize it is a rare viral infection and it does not spread easily among people.  

“Overwhelmingly — the people who identify the most — people who are gay, bisexual men who have sex with men — anyone can get monkeypox — but right now— this virus is spreading through the social networks of men who have sex with men,” Bassett explained 

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Lab testing.

Symptoms of monkeypox include: 

  • Lesions or rashes that can look like blisters or pimples. 
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever 
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion    

If you are experiencing those symptoms you should contact your doctor for testing. 

“It is rarely fatal, but it is extremely unpleasant and the legions can be severely painful,” noted Basset. 

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Monkeypox vaccines.

Right now there is a nationwide shortage of the monkeypox vaccine. But so far New York State has secured more than 60,000 doses of the vaccine.  
“That by the way just to give you a perspective. That’s enough vaccines for the first shot for about 50 percent of the population that's at risk — we're talking about people living with HIV. We’re talking about men who have sex with men who are eligible for prep, so that's progress — not enough — we got to keep going and we've got keep doing more,” remarked Dr. Ashish Jha, COVID-19 coordinator, White House.

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Box of vaccines.

Here in Erie County, there are currently only two reported cases. The Erie County Health Department (ECDH) tells me they are expected to receive 600-doses from the state DOH. 

Erie County will hold vaccination clinics at Evergreen Health on Prospect Avenue in Buffalo on July 27 from 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. and July 28 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. You can register for an appointment here.