COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
While there are very few monkeypox cases in Missouri, some Health Departments across the state will receive the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine.
The City of Kansas City Health Department is one of the "hubs" that will be receiving the vaccines.
Dr. Robin Blount, Chief Medical Officer with Boone Health, said the monkeypox virus has been around for a long time, generally only in certain regions of the world, like Africa.
According to the CDC, there have been over 16,000 reported monkeypox cases globally.
Dr. Blount said although 16,000 cases throughout the whole world don't sound like a lot, the virus use to only be in a few countries and now it has been detected in 75 countries.
Dr. Blount said often times cases are related to people traveling and contracting the virus in places that have the virus. However, over the past several months monkeypox cases have been seen globally.
"It's a virus that is spread with direct human-to-human contact. It is now seen spread mostly from man to man, but we are now seeing it in children even," Dr. Blount said.
Monkeypox can spread by coming in direct contact with a cut or lesion, saliva, skin-to-skin or respiratory particles from someone infected.
Monkeypox isn't considered a sexually transmitted disease but there is a risk for people with sexual partners. The World Health Organization said cases have been identified in gay, and bisexual men. WHO notes the risk of monkeypox is not only limited to men who have sex with men. Anyone in close contact can be at risk.
"Currently it appears to be in a group of people men who have sex with men, but it is also spread to other people who come in contact with them. It is not necessarily only men," Dr. Blount said.
There have been two cases of the virus found in children in the U.S.
Dr. Blount said The Division of Health and Human Services has been releasing vaccines to health departments throughout the state. The agency has released 300,000 vaccines to health departments across the U.S.
The vaccine Jynneos is available for use and should be administered within four days from the date of exposure to most effectively prevent the virus. Jynneos is a two-dose vaccine and people are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose.
Not everyone will be able to receive the vaccine. Health departments will limit the vaccines to who is most at-risk for the virus.
Symptoms include fever, rash, blisters, headaches and fatigue.