RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Monkeypox vaccine manufacturing is in overdrive as monkeypox cases rise. The number of infections has grown in the last week with more states reporting cases. There are now almost 900 nationwide- nearly double the case count from last week.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported 11 cases so far for the state.
Alonza Pamplin, communicable disease supervisor at the Wake County Public Health said part of preparing the county for monkeypox is education about the available vaccine.
NCDHHS reported they’ve been allocated more than 2,800 vaccines. More than 400 were part of their initial allocation. A second of 2,365 was recently allocated. Those were sent to seven health departments in the state including Wake County.
Those are largely being reserved for people with exposure to the virus.
“You wouldn’t get vaccinated if you’re already showing symptoms but if you’ve been exposed you should try to make sure you reach out to your provider,” said Pamplin.
Pamplin said the vaccine works best when given within four days of exposure. Getting vaccinated between day four and 14 of exposure may lessen symptoms.
Those who don’t have symptoms but have traveled internationally or are in high risk groups may be eligible for the vaccine.
“Anyone can get monkeypox, but there are a disproportionate amount of cases among men who have sex with men,” said Pamplin.
Pamplin says they’ve had a fair amount of calls concerning monkeypox and they expect those to increase in the coming weeks.
What health departments have the vaccine?
- Buncombe (828) 250-5300
- Durham (919) 560-9217
- Forsyth (336) 703-3100
- Mecklenburg (980) 314-9400
- New Hanover (910) 798-6800
- Pitt (252) 902-2300
- Wake (919) 250-4462
Do I have Monkeypox?
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Monkeypox is spread through close, physical contact or by touching something that has made contact with an infected person, such as clothing or bed sheets.
“If you see a new, unusual-looking lesion you’ve never seen anything quite like it before, it reminds you a little bit of chickenpox, but maybe it doesn’t, and especially if you have a swollen gland nearby, that may be something to call your doctor about,” Dr. David Wohl, infectious disease expert at UNC School of Medicine, said.
If you don’t have a primary care doctor, call your local health department.
Symptoms may include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
The most obvious sign is a rash with bumps resembling pimples or blisters. They can appears on the face, inside the mouth, hands, feet, chest or private areas.