What you need to know about monkeypox in Southern Nevada

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control...
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. The spread of monkeypox in the U.S. in 2022 could represent the dawn of a new sexually transmitted disease, or it could yet be contained. Or it might be too early to tell. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)(AP)
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 8:51 AM PDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2022 at 11:17 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - As monkeypox continues to spread around the U.S., here’s everything you need to know about monkeypox in Southern Nevada.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by an infection by the monkeypox virus, according to the Centers for Disease Control, and is in the same virus family as smallpox. Monkeypox presents similarly to smallpox, but milder, and is rarely fatal. Illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that looks like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body such as hands, feet, genitals or anus.

How does monkeypox spread?

The Southern Nevada Health District said monkeypox is spread through:

  • Direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs or body fluids.
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the rash or body fluids of someone with monkeypox.

Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed, SNHD said. This can take several weeks.

What is the status of monkeypox in Southern Nevada?

The SNHD is currently reporting 229 confirmed cases in Clark County.

Who is eligible for the monkeypox vaccine, and how can I get it?

There are currently two vaccines in the U.S. to prevent monkeypox: JYNNEOS and ACAM200. SNHD has a limited supply of JYNNEOS for high-risk people including laboratory personnel, active monkeypox cases and close contacts.

The CDC currently recommends that someone who is exposed to monkeypox get vaccinated within four days of exposure to prevent the onset of the disease. If someone is vaccinated within four to 14 days from exposure, the vaccine may reduce symptoms of the disease.

You can schedule a monkeypox vaccination here. SNHD said to select the “routine” vaccination option. For assistance, call (702) 759-0850.

Those currently eligible for the monkeypox vaccine in Southern Nevada are:

  • Those who had close physical contact within the past 14 days with someone known or suspected of having monkeypox. This includes those who know or suspect their sexual partner(s) of having monkeypox.
  • Those who have been informed by the Health District they are a close contact of someone with monkeypox.
  • Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, and/or transgender, gender non-conforming, or gender non-binary who had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days, especially at a venue, event, or within a social group where a person with a known or suspected case of monkeypox was present.
  • Gay, bisexual or other men who have sex with men, and transgender, gender non-conforming or other gender non-binary individuals with HIV or a history of a sexually-transmitted infection in the last 12 months.
  • Sex workers of any gender identity or sexual orientation.

Those meeting any of the above criteria who may be at increased risk for severe disease if infected with monkeypox should especially be vaccinated. This includes people with HIV or another condition that weakens their immune system or those with a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema, according to SNHD.

Where can I find more information?

More information on monkeypox in Southern Nevada can be found on the SNHD’s website.