DC Monkeypox: District opens new vaccine clinic in Ward 8
WASHINGTON - A new clinic to administer monkeypox vaccines is opening in the District Monday.
The clinic is located in Ward 8, the D.C. Department of Health said. The District also operates monkeypox vaccine clinics in Ward 2 and Ward 4.
Eligible D.C. residents should pre-register for a monkeypox vaccination appointment. After booking an appointment, residents will be able to choose which vaccination site they want to visit.
In July, D.C. shifted to a new single dose strategy allowing for more vaccination appointments to be offered to eligible residents.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says there are 5,189 monkeypox cases in the U.S. The District is reporting 218 cases.
At present, to be eligible for the monkeypox vaccine in D.C., a person must be a District resident, 18 years of age or older, and:
- Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have had multiple (more than one) or any anonymous sexual partners in the last 14 days; or
- Transgender women or nonbinary persons assigned male at birth who have sex with men; or
- Sex workers (of any sexual orientation/gender); or
- Staff (of any sexual orientation/gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)
Monkeypox Signs, Symptoms and Prevention from the CDC:
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can 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, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
- touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
- pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta
It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by preparing or eating meat or using products from an infected animal.
Monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. At this time, it is not known if monkeypox can spread through semen or vaginal fluids.
RELATED: What rising monkeypox cases mean for DC, Maryland and Virginia
Take the following steps to prevent getting monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox. Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox. Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- In Central and West Africa, avoid contact with animals that can spread monkeypox virus, usually rodents and primates. Also, avoid sick or dead animals, as well as bedding or other materials they have touched.
If you are sick with monkeypox:
- Isolate at home
- If you have an active rash or other symptoms, stay in a separate room or area away from people or pets you live with, when possible.
READ MORE: Monkeypox outbreak: US regulators greenlight additional vaccine shipments
CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox, including:
- People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox
- People who may have been exposed to monkeypox, such as: People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox
- People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox
- People who had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area with known monkeypox
- People whose jobs may expose them to orthopoxviruses, such as: Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses Some designated healthcare or public health workers
- Laboratory workers who perform testing for orthopoxviruses
- Laboratory workers who handle cultures or animals with orthopoxviruses
- Some designated healthcare or public health workers