Lexington health leaders working to give out monkeypox vaccine

Lexington health leaders working to give out monkeypox vaccine
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 4:28 PM EDT
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - So far there are no reported cases of monkeypox in Fayette County, but health officials say we should be concerned that the number of cases is increasing.

There are nine monkeypox cases in Kentucky, according to the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. Seven cases are in Jefferson County, one in McCracken County, and one in Warren County. Lexington physician Dr. Jeff Foxx says monkeypox is similar to smallpox, but not as deadly.

“It can create flu-like symptoms and generally you may see a rash,” Dr. Foxx said.

He says the rash can look like chickenpox or shingles.

“So if you have a rash and you have those symptoms, it’s probably a good idea to see what it is,” Dr. Foxx said.

Health officials say monkeypox is spread from person to person through close physical contact. Men who have sex with men are showing the highest rate of infection right now. But officials say that could change since anyone can catch the virus. AVOL Kentucky, a clinic that provides HIV and STD testing, is helping to get the word out.

“Monkeypox is basically spread through skin-to-skin intimate contact. So, it’s important to have a conversation with your partners and know if they’re currently experiencing any symptoms. If they are, you would want to avoid that contact,” said Jon Parker, the executive director with AVOL Kentucky.

AVOL is also handing out flyers about the monkeypox vaccine. The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department offers the vaccine, but due to limited supply, only a few people are eligible to get it. They include men who have sex with men with certain risk factors and people who’ve had close contact with an infected person.

The Lexington-Fayette County Health Department is offering monkeypox vaccines on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays starting at 8:00 a.m. You have to call the day of to get an appointment.

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