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Monkeypox Updates

posted on Wednesday, August 03, 2022.


Monkeypox Basics

Cases of monkeypox have been reported in many countries across the globe that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States. Monkeypox is a potentially serious disease that is caused by the monkeypox virus, a virus from the same family of viruses as smallpox. Typically, monkeypox is predominantly found in Central and West African countries and does not spread widely across the United States.



Stay Up to Date

Our website and social media pages are the most direct way to find updates on Monkeypox. Check back here for updates, and you can also follow us on Facebook: City of Racine Public Health Department.



Monkeypox Vaccination


Vaccination Eligibility

Please call your Healthcare Provider for vaccine administration.


Vaccine Availability

We are working with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to receive vaccine for our residents. Vaccine allotments are limited, and based on epidemiologic trends in disease spread, specific groups have been identified as eligible for the vaccine. The latest eligibility criteria can be found on the Department of Health Services' website.

Note the vaccine is a 2-dose series, with the first and second doses separated by 28 days. For example, if there are 100 doses, that is enough to fully vaccinate 50 people.


Vaccine Allocation

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has been shipping doses of JYNNEOS vaccine using a strategy intended to help limit the spread of monkeypox in communities where transmission is highest and with higher number of individuals in the populations most at risk. This means areas like Chicago, New York City, and Los Angeles receive more doses than Wisconsin. HHS updates the number of vaccine doses distributed by geography each Wednesday.


Vaccination Basics

There are two vaccines approved for monkeypox, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. JYNNEOS is the preferred vaccine for nearly everyone. You can read more about the differences in the vaccines on the CDC website. In the US, there is currently a limited supply of JYNNEOS, although more is expected in the coming weeks and months. Similar to the COVID-19 vaccines, the monkeypox vaccine is a two-dose series with doses separated by 28 days (4 weeks). Receiving both doses in the series is important for achieving the full protection that the vaccine can provide.



About Monkeypox

 Monkeypox is a rare disease that has been around for several decades. 

  • Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 among monkeys. The first human case was recorded in 1970.
  • Smallpox vaccines work on monkeypox. If someone has confirmed, high-risk exposure, the smallpox vaccine can be given within four days to help prevent disease.
  • Most people recover from monkeypox without treatment or hospitalization. There are effective treatments for people with severe monkeypox.
  • The strain of the monkeypox virus that is spreading with the current outbreak is rarely deadly. Nearly everyone who gets this form of the disease will survive. However, people with weakened immune systems, children under 8 years of age, people with a history of eczema, and people who are pregnant or breastfeeding may be more likely to get very sick or die.
  • While this strain is rarely deadly, the symptoms can be extremely painful, and people might have permanent scarring resulting from the rash.



Signs and Symptoms of Monkeypox

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters and may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
    • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
    • The rash can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
    • Photos of the monkeypox rash can be found on the CDC's Monkeypox Signs and Symptoms website.

You may experience all or only a few symptoms. Sometimes people develop a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash, but most people with monkeypox will develop a rash.

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has is infected with monkeypox and develops flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

Monkeypox can be spread beginning at the time symptoms. A person with monkeypox is considered contagious until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Call your doctor if you have symptoms of monkeypox. Available health care resources for the Racine Area can be found in this document.



Monkeypox and Risk

While anyone can get monkeypox, the current outbreak is spreading through specific social networks, including men who have sex with men. If you are a man who has sex with other men, you are more likely to be exposed to monkeypox at this time. However, this does not mean that individuals who do not fall into . People of any gender, age, race, and sexual orientation can become infected with monkeypox.

Monkeypox spreads in different ways. The virus can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. In addition, pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.

Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way monkeypox spreads. It’s also possible for people to get monkeypox from infected animals, either by being scratched or bitten by the animal or by eating meat or using products from an infected animal.