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DeKalb Board of Health hosting monkeypox vaccination events Aug. 11-12

Decatur Metro ATL

DeKalb Board of Health hosting monkeypox vaccination events Aug. 11-12

A person receives the monkeypox vaccine during a mass vaccination clinic at the DeKalb County Board of Health North DeKalb Health Center in Chamblee on Friday, August 5, 2022. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated. 

DeKalb County, GA — The DeKalb County Board of Health, in partnership with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has received additional monkeypox vaccine doses and has more appointments available.

The Board of Health will host monkeypox vaccination events on Thursday, Aug. 11, and Friday, Aug. 12, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the North DeKalb Health Center, located at 3807 Clairmont Road NE, in Chamblee. There will be 240 appointments available each day, according to a press release.

The total 480 appointment slots opened at 6 p.m. on Aug. 9 and as of 7:33 p.m. that day all slots had been filled.

Appointments for the vaccination events are required due to limited availability of the vaccine. Appointments can be scheduled through the BOH website on Tuesday, Aug. 9. To schedule an appointment, click here.

“If individuals experience issues with the appointment link, there may be several issues preventing access – your internet connection, the volume of others attempting to access the link, or all appointments having been filled. The form will disable when all appointments are filled,” the press release states.

Additional vaccination events will be forthcoming in the weeks ahead.  For more information and updates about monkeypox, contact the DeKalb County Board of Health at 404-294-3700 or visit the Board of Health’s website.

As of Aug. 9, there are 625 confirmed monkeypox cases in the state, the Georgia Department of Public Health said in a press release. DPH is closely monitoring the outbreak in the state. Testing and vaccination are available in health districts throughout Georgia, however vaccine supplies from the federal government remain limited.

The monkeypox virus can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.

Over 90% of individuals who have monkeypox generally report having close, sustained physical contact with other people who have the virus. While many of the people affected in the current global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.

Touching items that have previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way the virus can spread, but it has not been identified as a common mode of transmission in the outbreak or for monkeypox in general.

The risk of contracting monkeypox is based on exposure. Sharing bedding or towels with someone who is infected with monkeypox would carry more risk than passing encounters with money or a door handle or other surfaces based on what’s currently known about how the virus is transmitted.

Most settings where people congregate such as workplaces, schools, grocery stores, gas station, or public transportation are not considered high risk settings for monkeypox transmission. Monkeypox is not transmitted like COVID-19 and typically takes skin-to-skin or other close contact to transmit.

Unlike COVID-19 or measles, this means far lower risk to persons that may be in a room with someone with monkeypox, but who do not have contact with the infected individual.

According to CDC, monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus. It’s rarely fatal, the CDC says. Symptoms include:

– Fever

– Headache

– Muscle aches and backache

– Swollen lymph nodes

– Chills

– Exhaustion

– 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.

“The rash goes through different stages before healing completely,” the CDC says. “The illness typically lasts two-to-four weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.”

The CDC provided the following prevention and treatment tips:

– Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.

– Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.

– Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.

– Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

– Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

– In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.

If you are sick with monkeypox:

– Isolate at home

– If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.

CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox, including:

– People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox

– People who may have been exposed to monkeypox, such as:People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox

– People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox

– People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as:Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses

– Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses

– Some designated healthcare or public health workers

For more information on monkeypox, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/monkeypox or https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

Editor and Publisher Dan Whisenhunt contributed to this article. 

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