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Montgomery Co. to begin offering monkeypox vaccines to at-risk residents

Posted at 5:09 PM, Jul 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-20 17:24:12-04

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Md. — Montgomery County's Department of Health and Human Services announced they will begin to offer monkeypox vaccines to a limited number of at-risk residents.

The supply of the vaccine is very limited and the Maryland Department of Health will only offer vaccinations to people who are at most at risk of catching the virus.

Currently, monkeypox vaccinations will be limited to:

  • People who have had a sexual partner in the past 14 days that was diagnosed with monkeypox
  • Had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days with known monkeypox

As of now, the risk of monkeypox in the United States is believed to be low. It doesn't spread easily between people and the time between exposure and when symptoms start give public health officials time to track down contacts and break the chain of infection.

Maryland currently has 48 cases of the virus. Anyone, regardless of gender or sexual orientation, can catch monkeypox.

People who don't have symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. It can spread during intimate physical contact between people.

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash of lesions on the skin.

Person to person transmission occurs through:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or bodily fluids.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
  • Touching items such as clothing or linens that previously touched the rash or body fluids of an infected person.
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta