NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Health officials have developed a vaccination to combat the Monkeypox disease. The Louisiana Department of Health compiled a list of locations around the state a person can go to get vaccinated. The FDA-approved vaccine is called JYNNEOS.
The state of Louisiana identified its first case of Monkeypox on July 7. As of July 30, the state currently stands at 38 total infections with seven new cases reported and possibly many more undiagnosed cases, according to the Louisiana Department of Health.
Monkeypox is defined as a potentially serious viral illness and involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes, and a possibly painful rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. LDH says the virus is can be confused with infections like syphilis, herpes, or chickenpox.
LDH officials say the virus is often spread from one person to another by direct contact with a person that has the virus and has the rash or sores, via respiratory droplets passed through prolonged face-to-face contact, and during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling or sex. It can also be spread through shared items such as clothing and bed sheets.
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- 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 Louisiana Department of Health explains that some people either may experience the rash first or only have the rash. In some cases, the blisters are isolated to one area of the body. Within two weeks anyone exposed to the virus will begin to show symptoms.
Anyone qualifying for the vaccination has to make an appointment at one of the providing locations. Walk-ins will not be accepted.
The free vaccine is two doses, given 28 days apart with full protection beginning two weeks after the second shot. Due to limited supply, those most encouraged to get vaccinated are:
- Individuals with known exposures
- Individuals with likely high-risk exposures in the last 14 days
Another high-priority group encouraged to get the vaccination includes :
- Gay, bisexual, same gender loving, or other men who have sex with men
- Have had intimate or sexual contact with multiple or anonymous partners in the last 14 days
- Have given or received money or other goods/services in exchange for sex in the last 14 days
- Have had intimate or sexual contact with other men in a social or sexual venue in the last 14 days
At the moment there have been no confirmed deaths from the disease but the illness can be serious for children, anyone that is immunocompromised and pregnant women. Recovery time runs between 2-4 weeks. If a person is exposed, they are encouraged to call their doctor immediately, avoid sex, and all close contact with others until checked out.