Monkeypox vaccine available at Lowndes Co. Health Dept.

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Published: Aug. 3, 2022 at 7:02 PM EDT
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VALDOSTA, Ga. (WALB) - A rare disease is traveling around America again now with over 6,000 confirmed cases of monkeypox, according to the CDC.

Georgia now has over 400 confirmed monkeypox cases. One of those is right here in the South Health District’s 10-county service area.

The health department got the two-dose vaccine for monkeypox. They plan to start giving vaccines on August 5.

Kristin Patten, PIO for South Health District.
Kristin Patten, PIO for South Health District.(Source: WALB)

“We received 50 doses,” said Kristin Patten, public information officer for South Health District. “Which means that we can vaccinate 25 individuals because this is a two-dose vaccine series. And we want to remind everybody that Lowndes County Health Department is the only health department within our 10-county district that is offering the vaccine at this time due to that extremely limited supply.”

Monkeypox symptoms are like mild smallpox symptoms and are rarely fatal. Some symptoms are like the flu. A rash can appear on certain parts of the body, like hands and mouth.

Kenneth Lowery, Epidemiologist with South Health District.
Kenneth Lowery, Epidemiologist with South Health District.(Source: WALB)

“The rash progresses over time,” said Kenneth Lowery, an epidemiologist with South Health District. “Ok, so initially it’ll be a flat rash then it’ll move to a raised rash, and then it could be fluid-filled, then eventually it scabs and falls off. The interesting thing about it is, it can take a period of two to four weeks for the rash to actually subside.”

Vaccinations are only available for those 18 and older, and you must not show any symptoms. Those who have had contact with someone with monkeypox. And those aware a sexual partner has been diagnosed with monkeypox in the last two weeks.

Jynneos, the smallpox and monkeypox vaccine available at Lowndes County Health Dept.
Jynneos, the smallpox and monkeypox vaccine available at Lowndes County Health Dept. (Source: WALB)

“So we ask that people who are suspicious that they might be exposed or have symptoms please reach out to your healthcare provider or the health department and we can give you the best information where it pertains to rather or not you need to get tested,” said Lowery.

Health officials say it’s best to know the symptoms to keep yourself safe.

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