Minnesota receives 3,000 monkeypox vaccines as cases rise
ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – The state of Minnesota has received 3,000 vaccines for the monkeypox virus as cases grow across the state and nationwide. There are currently more than 4,500 cases of monkeypox nationwide, and 28 of those are in Minnesota.
As of right now, the only people getting these vaccines are people who don’t have monkeypox, but have come in close face-to-face or skin-to-skin contact with someone who does have the virus.
According to the Minnesota Department of Health, vaccinations given within four days from the first date of exposure may prevent the disease.
“This is something we’re taking very seriously, and when you have something like that, you want coordination among all the different agencies,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci said.
“People should continue to remain vigilant and be aware that monkeypox is in Minnesota and throughout the U.S.,” Olmsted County public health epidemiologist Matthew Giljork said.
Some symptoms include fever, headache, chills and fatigue, but the most telling symptom is a rash with pimples or blisters.
“Those are the symptoms. That doesn’t mean that everyone gets those either. There are some people who don’t have any of those flu-like symptoms,” Giljork said.
The virus is spread between an infected person coming into contact with a non-infected person.
“Generally speaking, it’s that prolonged face to face contact and prolonged skin to skin contact,” Giljork said.
Someone who does develop monkeypox should isolate from family and pets for two to four weeks.
“People just kind of have to wait it out. Symptoms can last three to fourth weeks. An individual is is still considered infectious until the rash completely disappears and all the scabs have fallen off,” Giljork said.
Olmsted County Public Health is working closely with the Minnesota Department of Health that is tracking cases across the state.
“Right now, Olmsted County doesn’t have any cases, but we are monitoring the situation. We want to be proactive to make sure that we are prepared,” Giljork said.
With some people experiencing pandemic anxiety or fatigue from COVID-19, medical experts want to remind us they have been researching monkeypox for decades and there are vaccines available.
“I think we can all take a deep breath and just be conscious of what’s happening, but not necessarily worry about it at this time,” Giljork said.
Medical professionals say that while there is no specific treatment for monkeypox, people who contract the virus should monitor their symptoms and isolate.
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