The Massachusetts Department of Public Health will be offering the monkeypox vaccine at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Monday, Oct. 17, according to a press release.
“People should consider getting vaccinated if they have been identified as a close contact of someone with monkeypox (this may include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers) or they are a man who has sex with other men,” the release states. “While most identified cases in the current monkeypox outbreak self-identify as gay and bisexual men, people of any sexual orientation or gender identity can become infected and spread monkeypox.”
“While the monkeypox virus does not spread easily between people, individuals can spread the infection once they develop symptoms,” the release states. “Transmission occurs through direct contact with body fluids and monkeypox sores, by touching items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or less commonly, through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.”
Monkeypox can spread through:
- Direct skin-to-skin contact with rash lesions. Sexual/intimate contact, including kissing while a person is infected.
- Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone. Sharing towels or unwashed clothing.
- Respiratory secretions through face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happen when living with someone or caring for someone who has monkeypox)
Monkeypox does not spread through:
- Casual conversations. Walking by someone with monkeypox in a grocery store, for instance. Touching items like doorknobs.
“Early symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes, but rash may be the first symptom. Rash lesions start flat, become raised, fill with clear fluid (vesicles), and then become pustules (filled with pus),” the release states. “As the CDC advises, if you believe you may have monkeypox, you should contact your healthcare provider. If you need to leave your home, wear a mask, and cover your rash or lesions when around others. Those who live with or care for someone who may have monkeypox should wear a mask and disposable gloves if they need to have any direct contact with lesions and when handling any clothes or bedding if the person cannot do it themselves. They should also wash their hands regularly, especially after contact with the person who is infected or with their clothes, bed sheets, towels, and other items or surfaces they may have touched.” Additional information on monkeypox.