DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – Over the past few months, monkeypox has dominated headlines and has been under the microscope of health officials.
“I think we need to think about things from a health equity lens and make sure that we are reaching the right people. That we are moving at the pace that we need to move,” Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, the Dean of the School of Nursing at Duke University, said.
Dr. Guilamo-Ramos, Dr. Ibukun Kalu and Dr. Cameron Wolfe, with Duke, addressed several topics regarding monkeypox Friday during a virtual briefing.
“I think the testing is really important here because not only does it help the individual know if they’re positive or not, but it also helps us set up contract tracing,” Dr. Wolfe said.
Doctors at Duke Health said the first symptoms tend to be like the flu, but then a painful rash or cluster of blisters appear.
Wolfe, an infectious disease specialist, said a swab test is done on the blister or rash. He also said it’s imperative that you isolate.
Dr. Kalu, a pediatrician, said right now there’s very little data when it comes to kids and monkeypox.
“Children get rashes. If a child has a known exposure and a new rash there’s a high chance that it’s monkeypox,” she said.
As far as the vaccine, Dr. Wolfe said the key is not only to get it to those with a known exposure, but also to people at higher risk.
“To really curb the spread of this we also need to get this to people who think they may be at risk,” Wolfe said. “Be that someone sexually (and) someone who has had healthcare exposure. A lot of people in those settings who could benefit before they get potentially exposed.”
They all said a big component of this is combatting misinformation, too.
For instance, you can catch it primarily through skin-to-skin contact and less likely through touching doorknobs or money.