Friday, December 9, 2022

Monkeypox cases remain low in the Valley

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HARRISONBURG, Va. (WHSV) – The Virginia Department of Health is reporting 478 cases of monkeypox throughout the state, as of Sept. 27. Over 95% of those cases are being reported by men.

As of now, the numbers are low in the Valley. As of Tuesday, there are no cases in the Central Shenandoah Health District, but the Lord Fairfax Health District, which covers Page and Shenandoah counties, is reporting a small number of cases, between one and four.

Regionally, there are only about a dozen cases.

On Monday, eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine was expanded to include new populations:

  • Any person, of any sexual orientation or gender, who has had anonymous or multiple (more than one) sexual partners in the past two weeks; OR
  • Sex workers of any sexual orientation or gender; OR
  • Staff, of any sexual orientation or gender, at establishments or events where sexual activity occurs; OR
  • Any person, of any sexual orientation or gender, who is living with HIV/AIDS; OR
  • Any person, of any sexual orientation or gender, who was diagnosed with any sexually transmitted infection in the past three months.

The CSHD has an online survey used to gauge interest. If you’re newly eligible, it asks you to fill that survey out.

“If you develop symptoms or you have a rash we’re encouraging folks to reach out to their health care provider to determine what’s best for them treatment-wise and how they can best protect themselves and protect others,” Jordi Shelton, with the CSHD, said.

Shelton said so far, 89 doses of monkeypox vaccines have been given out by the health district.

While there was an initial shortage of monkeypox vaccines, Shelton said there have been no issues getting them to eligible people within the health district. Eligible people can get their vaccine at the Harrisonburg, Staunton-Augusta, and Lexington health departments.

For more information on monkeypox from VDH, click here.

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