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Monkeypox

While the risk of monkeypox to most people remains low, the monkeypox vaccine is available for San Diego residents who are at risk. Both the County of San Diego and Vista Community Clinic have limited supply of the monkeypox vaccine available.

Vaccines are distributed by the County of San Diego. Appointments are required. Call 211 to see if you are eligible and make an appointment. Due to limited supply, those with the greatest risk are being prioritized.

The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been in close contact with people who have monkeypox. Currently, this outbreak is mostly affecting gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men. People who may be eligible for vaccination include:

  • People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox
  • People who know that one of their sexual partners in the last 14 days has been diagnosed with monkeypox
  • People who had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. What is monkeypox?
  2. How is monkeypox spread?
  3. How can you prevent the spread of monkeypox?
  4. Who should get vaccinated?
  5. What should you do if you think you have monkeypox?
  6. Is there a treatment for monkeypox?

 

Q: What is monkeypox?
A: Monkeypox is a viral disease. Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters

 

Q: How is monkeypox spread?

A: Monkeypox is spread through close skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Kissing
  • Cuddling
  • Sex
  • Direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, body fluids – this includes sharing utensils or articles of clothing

 

Q: How can you prevent the spread of monkeypox?
A: Although the most effective way to prevent monkeypox is to avoid sex of any kind (oral, anal, vaginal) and kissing or touching while sick, there are ways to reduce your risk without total abstinence:

  • Have virtual sex with no in-person contact.
  • Masturbate together at a distance of at least six feet, without touching each other and without touching any rash.
  • Turn on the lights and look for possible signs of infection before having sex.
  • Consider having sex with your clothes on or covering areas where rash is present, reducing as much skin-to-skin contact as possible. Condoms alone are likely not enough to prevent monkeypox.
  • Avoid kissing.
  • Remember to wash your hands, fetish gear, sex toys and any fabrics (bedding, towels, clothing) after having sex.
  • Do not share things like towels, fetish gear, sex toys or toothbrushes.
  • Limiting your number of sex partners may reduce the possibility of exposure.
  • Avoid touching the rash. Touching the rash can spread it to other parts of the body and may delay healing.

If you feel sick or have a rash, do not attend any gathering, and see a healthcare provider. Gatherings include:

  • A rave, party, or club where there is minimal clothing and where there is direct, personal, skin-to-skin contact has some risk. Avoid any rash you see on others and consider minimizing skin-to-skin contact.
  • Enclosed spaces, such as back rooms, bath houses, sex clubs or private and public sex parties where sexual contact with multiple partners occurs, may have a higher likelihood of spreading monkeypox.

Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox can only be spread when you are experiencing symptoms. However, symptoms can last up to four weeks. You can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

 

Q: Who should get vaccinated?
A:

  • People who had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days
  • People who had a known exposure to someone with confirmed monkeypox in the last 14 days
  • Men who have sex with men
  • The vaccine is administered in two doses four weeks apart. You’ll be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the second dose.

 

Q: What should you do if you think you have monkeypox?
A:

  • See a health care provider if you notice a new or unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms.
  • Avoid close contact with other people and pets.
  • If your test result is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

 

Q: Is there a treatment for monkeypox?
A: A health care provider may prescribe antiviral to treat monkeypox infections if you are more likely to get severely ill due to another health condition, such as immune suppression.