Duke Health experts say monkeypox cases will continue to rise in North Carolina :: WRAL.com

– North Carolina added nine new cases of monkeypox on Friday, bringing the state to nearly 100 cases since the outbreak began.

Duke Health experts say they expect that number to continue to rise.

Almost all of the cases involve men having sex with other men – but doctors believe it is only a matter of time before more women and children are also infected. Monkeypox is spread by close, often intimate, skin-to-skin contact.

“If we compare this to COVID, which was mostly a respiratory infection, it’s an order of magnitude less contagious,” said Duke Health infectious disease specialist Dr. Cameron Wolfe.

Even though it mainly spreads among gay and bisexual men, Wolfe says monkeypox should be on everyone’s radar.

“There’s nothing about the way the virus moves around that cares about your gender, who you love, or who you date,” he said. “There’s no reason for it to stay in those populations.”

Transmission of monkeypox in households and schools

Pediatrician Dr Ibukun Kalu expects household transmission, but not transmission in daycares and schools.

“Children with a history of skin inflammation, particularly dermatitis or eczema, may be more likely to have a moderate or severe presentation,” he said.

Vaccines available in North Carolina

The virus begins with a fever, followed by painful rashes and blisters that take 2-3 weeks to heal.

To help fight the outbreak, the state is receiving thousands more doses of the monkeypox vaccine. However, measurements show that less than a quarter of the shots went to the guns.

Doctors say vaccines can prevent infection. To date, North Carolina has received over 10,000 doses. However, only about 2,200, or 22%, were administered.

Wake County has 550 doses available, and at this time these are only for those deemed to be at high risk – a group that includes gay and bisexual men who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners over the course of of the last 3 months.

“I think we need to think about things from a health equity perspective and make sure we’re reaching the right people, moving at the pace we need to,” said Dr Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, Dean from Duke University School. nursing care.

Wake County to host walk-in monkeypox vaccination event

Doctors say people already vaccinated against smallpox probably have some protection against monkeypox – but to what extent is unknown and people at risk are encouraged to receive the new vaccine.

On Saturday, Wake County is hosting a free walk-in immunization clinic from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Sunnybrook Road Health Center.

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