Monkeypox

Repeating images of the word monkeypox and graphic of a hand with spots

Get checked. Get tested. Get protected.

Wake County Public Health, along with federal, state and local partners, are working closely together to investigate and monitor the current national outbreak of monkeypox. On July 6, Wake County announced the first confirmed case of the virus in our county.

Vaccination

Residents who are eligible to receive the vaccine can:

  • Call our monkeypox call center at  919-212-9398, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.
  • Fill out the online form linked below:

Monkeypox Vaccine Request Form

You are not guaranteed a vaccine by filling out this form; however, if you receive a message at the end of survey that you are eligible, our staff will call you to schedule a vaccine appointment.. If you are not yet eligible, you will be added to a list to potentially receive a vaccine in the future depending on your risk factors and the available supply.

Anyone under the age of 18 requesting the vaccine will need to have a parent/guardian authorized to make a medical decision for them present at the appointment or they are required to sign a consent/attestation form. The form can be found here: ENGLISH | SPANISH 

Testing

Monkeypox testing is by appointment only. If you would like to be tested for monkeypox, please call ahead  at 919-212-9398 to be scheduled.

Symptoms

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious, viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever;
  • Headache;
  • Muscle aches and backache;
  • Swollen lymph nodes;
  • Chills;
  • Exhaustion; and
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus. View examples here.
     

Monkeypox Vaccine

Vaccines are available, at no cost, for those eligible. This includes:

  • Anyone who had close contact in the past two weeks with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox; or
  • Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who are sexually active; or 
  • People who have had sexual contact with gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals in the past 90 days; or
  • People living with HIV, or taking medication to prevent HIV (PrEP), or who were diagnosed with syphilis in the past 90 days.
  • People who have had any of the following in the past 6 months:
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue
    • Sex in association with a large public event
  • Sexual partners of people with the above risks
  • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks

Wake County has received the JYNNEOS vaccine, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex, which is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the prevention of monkeypox virus infection. According to the CDC, when properly administered before or after a recent exposure, these vaccines are an effective tool to protect people from illness. Our clinical staff will work with each patient on an individual basis about any special considerations, including asking you a history of previous allergic reactions. JYNNEOS is safe to use if you have HIV. It’s also safe if you have eczema or other skin conditions, or of you have any other conditions that weaken your immune system.

Resources:

General Monkeypox Questions

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. It is not related to chickenpox.

Who can get monkeypox?

Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.

At this time, data suggest that gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men make up the majority of cases in the current monkeypox outbreak.

What are the symptoms?

According to the CDC, people with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth.

The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. It can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
     

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

How does monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox is transmitted person-to-person through direct skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions. This often occurs during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact (such as kissing, cuddling or sex).

Those who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.

How can I protect myself and my loved ones from monkeypox?

Anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, who has been in close, personal contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.

Take the following three steps to prevent getting monkeypox:

  1. Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
    1. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    2. Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
    3. Do not wear contacts or touch eyes while sick with Monkeypox.
  2. Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
    1. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
    2. Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  3. Wash your hands often.
    1. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
       

How is monkeypox treated?

There are no treatments specifically for monkeypox virus infections. However, monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections.

Most people with monkeypox recover fully within 2 to 4 weeks without the need for medical treatment.

Can animals get or spread monkeypox?

According to the CDC, infected animals can spread Monkeypox virus to people, and it is possible that people who are infected can spread Monkeypox virus to animals through close contact, including petting, cuddling, hugging, kissing, licking, sharing sleeping areas and sharing food.

People with monkeypox should avoid contact with animals, including pets, domestic animals, and wildlife to prevent spreading the virus.

Learn more here.

What does the monkeypox rash look like?

pictures of monkeypox rash on various body parts

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

Close-up images of monkeypox rash

The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing. It can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

How can I be tested for monkeypox?

Monkeypox testing is by appointment only. If you would like to be tested for monkeypox, please call ahead to 919-212-9398 to be scheduled.

You can also check with your healthcare provider for testing.

Vaccine Questions

Who can get the monkeypox vaccine?

Vaccines are available in limited supply, at no cost, for individuals with known or suspected exposure to monkeypox. This includes:

  • People who have been in close physical contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox in the last 14 days (Post-Exposure Prophylaxis or PEP)
  • Men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
    • Having multiple or anonymous sex partners
    • Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
    • Receiving HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP)
       

How can I request a monkeypox vaccine?

Wake County Public Health has limited supply of monkeypox vaccine. Residents who have been exposed to someone who has had monkeypox, or who feel they are eligible to receive the vaccine can:

Call our monkeypox call center at 919-212-9398, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Fill out the online form here.

How is the vaccine being administered?

Wake County Public Health has begun administering the vaccine by intradermal injection in our clinics. Administering the vaccine in this way will increase supply available for use by up to five-fold. The intradermal injection is equally as effective as the subcutaneous injection, which is the way the shot has been administered to this point.

These shots are much shallower than normal vaccine shots. The patient’s skin is held taut, and the needle is inserted into the dermis at an angle ranging from 5 to 15 degrees. Most patients report feeling a slight pinch. There is normally a small welt on the skin that will disappear within days.

What does an intradermal vaccine mean?

Most routine vaccines are given intramuscularly or subcutaneously. Intradermal injections deliver vaccine or medication to the dermis – the topmost layer of the skin. This type of injection is commonly used to test for tuberculosis and allergies.

According to the FDA, side effects were similar in both people who received subcutaneous vaccination and those who were vaccinated intradermally, and none of the reported side effects were severe.

Is the intradermal vaccine method more painful?

As with any injection, you may feel a slight pinch during the injection process. This technique is not any more painful than a regular injection.

What if I had my first dose of the vaccine subcutaneously?

The dosage may be given interchangeably, meaning you can receive a 0.5mL dose subcutaneously and your second dose 0.1mL intradermally with the same benefits and immunity.

Do I really need a second dose?

Yes, you are not fully protected from the Monkeypox virus until two weeks after your second dose.

When should I get my second dose?

Your second dose must be a minimum of 28 days from your first dose and up to 35 days. If there is a delay in administering the second dose and the interval becomes longer than 35 days, you should schedule your second dose as soon as possible. You will not need to restart the series.

Can someone under the age of 18 get the vaccine?

Yes, if the person meets the criteria they can receive the vaccine.

Anyone under the age of 18 requesting the vaccine will need to have a parent/guardian authorized to make a medical decision for them either present at the appointment or are required to sign an a consent/attestation form. The form can be found here: ENGLISH | SPANISH 

Who can I talk to if I have questions?

If you have questions, you can call our monkeypox call center at 919-212-9398, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.