NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The latest monkeypox update from the Metro Public Health Department shows a total of 129 presumptive cases of monkeypox in Nashville/Davidson County so far in 2022.
The health department reported 88 of the 129 cases have since recovered and the patients are no longer in insolation. Eight cases have been reported in the past week.
MPHD staff have administered 1,272 doses of the monkeypox vaccine. Currently, vaccine eligibility is limited to those who are known contacts of a monkeypox case, those who know their sexual partner had monkeypox in the last 14 days, those who had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days, and men who have sex with men, transgender persons, gender non-binary persons or gender nonconforming persons who answer “yes” to one of the following circumstances in the last 90 days:
- had multiple sex partners or anonymous sex.
- been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
- are living with HIV.
- received PrEP for HIV.
Anyone who meets the eligibility requirements can schedule a vaccination appointment by calling the communicable disease line at 615-340-5632.
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses as smallpox. Symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder. The monkeypox virus can reportedly spread from person-to-person through:
- direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact
- touching items like clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
Infection may begin with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion before a rash develops. Many of the cases associated with the 2022 outbreak have reported very mild or no symptoms other than rash, according to MPHD.
People should watch out for new rashes that come with sores, bumps or fluid filled bumps and contact their primary care provider if they have questions.
According to the CDC, monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Most people recover in 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious in rare instances, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and those who are pregnant.
Monkeypox, however, is rarely fatal and people who do not have symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. People who come in contact with a monkeypox case are monitored for several weeks, as it can take as many as 21 days after exposure for symptoms to develop.