How to protect yourself from Monkeypox

Staying safe from Monkeypox
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 10:39 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 31, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The New York City Department of Health declared a public health emergency due to the Monkeypox outbreak.

As of July 30, there were at least 16 cases of Monkeypox in Alabama, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

At least one of those cases was found in Jefferson County.

“We need to be back in our masks and probably wearing some gloves,” said primary care physician Dr. Kre Johnson, owner of Brownstone Healthcare & Aesthetics.

Dr. Kre said she was seeing growing concern from the community about Monkeypox.

The virus causes flu-like symptoms first, then after a few days, the infected person develops skin rashes and small cysts that can be painful or itchy.

The good news, it doesn’t spread easily.

Often requiring close, skin-to-skin contact, but you can be infected by touching something an infected person has touched.

“Like if you’re grocery shopping, and they’ve [an infected person]been there- I would say yes, you can be infected too. They can have lesions on their hands, lesions on their face. You’re talking about vesicles. [Vesicles] are lesions with fluid in the inside of it. The fluid is draining, and they touch something, and you go behind it and touch it, there we are,” Johnson explained.

Johnson said the virus can be fatal for those with compromised immune systems.

As of late July, there’s not enough vaccine in Alabama for everyone to get vaccinated for Monkeypox, Johnson said, so it’s important to take precautions.

“Washing our hands with soap and water, high alcohol content hand sanitizer. We’re trying to keep everything as clean as we can,” Johnson suggested.

Johnson said it can take two to four weeks to recover and that you’re contagious until the scabs fall off.

She explained everyone is susceptible to Monkeypox regardless of your race, gender, or sexual orientation.

For more information about Monkeypox, click here.

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