Duke Health experts say monkeypox cases will continue to rise in North Carolina :: WRAL.com

— North Carolina added nine new cases of monkeypox on Friday, bringing the state to nearly 100 cases since the outbreak began.

Duke Health experts say they expect that number to continue to rise.

Nearly all cases are among men who have sex with men, but doctors believe it’s only a matter of time before more women and children are also infected. Monkeypox is spread by close, often intimate, skin-to-skin contact.

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“If we compare this to COVID, which was overwhelmingly a respiratory infection, it’s much less infectious,” said Dr. Cameron Wolfe, an infectious disease specialist at Duke Health.

Although it’s spreading primarily among gay and bisexual men, Wolfe says monkeypox should be on everyone’s radar.

“There is nothing in the way the virus moves that cares about your gender, who you love or who you date,” he said. “There is no reason this should stay in those populations.”

Transmission of monkeypox in homes and schools

Pediatrician Dr. Ibukun Kalu expects transmission in the home, but not transmission in day care centers and schools.

“Children with a history of skin inflammation, specifically dermatitis or eczema, may be more likely to have a moderate or severe presentation,” he said.

Immunizations Available in North Carolina

The virus starts with a fever, followed by painful rashes and blisters that take 2-3 weeks to heal.

To help combat the outbreak, the state is receiving thousands more doses of monkeypox vaccine. However, the metrics show that less than a quarter of the shots have gone to guns.

Doctors say that vaccines can prevent infections. At this time, North Carolina has received more than 10,000 doses. However, only about 2,200, or 22%, have been administered.

Wake County has 550 doses available, and right now they are only for those considered high risk, a group that includes gay and bisexual men who have had multiple or anonymous sexual partners in the last 3 months.

“I think we need to think about things from a health equity perspective and make sure that we’re reaching the right people, that we’re moving at the pace that we need to move forward,” said Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, dean of the School from Duke University. of nursing.

Wake County to Host Walk-In Monkeypox Vaccination Event

Doctors say people who are already vaccinated against smallpox probably have some protection against monkeypox, but it’s not clear how much, and people at risk are advised to get the newer vaccine.

On Saturday, Wake County will hold a free walk-in immunization clinic from 10 to 3 at the Health Center on Sunnybrook Road.

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