Monkeypox, now recognized by the World Health Organization as "mpox",is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, it can result in hospitalization or death. That's why health officials in New York, the U.S., and around the world are monitoring cases of mpox in areas that do not usually report mpox infections, including in New York State and Washington County.
While our communities should not be alarmed, everyone should stay informed about mpox - this means understanding the symptoms, how it spreads, and what to do if you are exposed.
MPOX CASE STATUS IN WASHINGTON COUNTY
CURRENT LAB CONFIRMED MPOX / ORTHOPOXVIRUS CASES: 0
Why are cases classified as "confirmed orthopoxvirus/mpox" cases? What does orthopoxvirus have to do with mpox?
Specimens from suspected mpox cases are typically sent by New York providers to the New York State and New York City public health laboratories. These laboratories conduct testing for orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses to which mpox belongs. Cases that are confirmed positive for orthopoxvirus are considered probable mpox cases because of the rarity of all orthopoxviruses, generally, and the presentation of symptoms, in confirmed orthopoxvirus cases, being consistent with mpox. Confirmed orthopoxvirus cases, or probable mpox cases, may be further confirmed as mpox through CDC testing.
Case Status data updated: 08/26/2022 12:00 PM
WHY ARE HEALTH OFFICIALS CONCERNED?
Public Health and Healthcare officials are concerned because mpox is spreading, and cases of mpox are presenting, in ways not typically seen in past mpox outbreaks. Although the current strain of mpox that is circulating in the U.S. is rarely fatal, symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.
WHO IS AT RISK FOR CONTRACTING MPOX?
Though prior to the 2022 mpox outbreak, mpox was spread mostly through contact with certain animals, mpox does spread through close, physical contact between people. This means anyone can get mpox. However, based on the 2022 outbreak, certain populations are affected by mpox more than others, including men who have sex with men (MSM).
Based on previous outbreaks of mpox around the world, some groups may also be at heightened risk for severe outcomes if they contract mpox. This includes people with weakened immune systems, older adults, young children under 8 years of age, and pregnant people.
WHAT IF I WAS EXPOSED OR THINK I HAVE MONKEYPOX?
Those who experience symptoms consistent with mpox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, should contact their health care provider for a risk assessment. This includes anyone who traveled to countries where mpox cases have been reported or has had contact with someone who has a similar rash, or who received a diagnosis of suspected or confirmed mpox.
MONKEYPOX VACCINE INFORMATION & LOCAL CLINICS
Washington County has not yet received any allocation of the Mpox vaccine, there are NO SCHEDULED Mpox Vaccination Clinics in Washington County at this time. For all the most up to date eligibility criteria and available vaccination clinics, check the link below: