Monkeypox Updates

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Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious, viral illness which belongs to the orthopoxvirus family. Infection typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. There is currently a global and national outbreak of monkeypox. CDC posts a case count for Rhode Island and all states.

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Symptoms

Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus


Sometimes people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. Most infections last two to four weeks and resolve on their own, but some cases can become severe.

Key points to know:

  • Be aware of monkeypox and how it is transmitted;
  • Recognize the signs and symptoms;
  • Be careful if you are having multiple sexual partners;
  • Get tested if you have any signs or symptoms.
5 Things Sexually Active People Need to Know About Monkeypox.

Prevention

While many of the identified cases are within networks of self-identified gay and bisexual men, trans people, and men who have sex with men, people of any sexual orientation or gender identity can become infected and spread monkeypox.

Public awareness is important as the disease could spread within potentially larger groups or networks of people. RIDOH urges the media, government officials and the community at-large to avoid stigmatizing a particular group or person for monkeypox, but rather support those at highest risk and ensure that all communities remain vigilant.

Vaccination

There are vaccines to help prevent monkeypox virus infection. Vaccination within four days of exposure can prevent illness and if given within 14 days of exposure can significantly reduce severity of illness should the person develop illness. People vaccinated in Rhode Island are receiving the two-dose JYNNEOS vaccine series.

Eligibility

Rhode Island is vaccinating people who meet any of the following criteria:

  • People who are identified through a case investigation as close contacts of an individual with a known case of monkeypox
  • People who are age 18 or older AND are:
    • Any gay, bi, queer, or other man who has sex with men (or with people assigned male at birth) OR
    • Any person who has sex with a partner who is gay, bisexual, or a man who has sex with men (or with people assigned male at birth) OR
    • People of any gender who are commercial sex workers OR
    • People who work in or have sex in group or public sex venues OR
    • People who are currently on PrEP to prevent HIV* OR
    • Healthcare workers who are caring for individuals with confirmed or suspected monkeypox or are testing or vaccinating people who are at risk for monkeypox OR
    • Laboratory workers who handle monkeypox specimens

*PrEP, or pre-exposure prophylaxis, is medicine that reduces your changes of getting HIV from sex or injection drug use. For more information about PrEP, please see: https://health.ri.gov/diseases/hivaids/about/prep/. For more information about HIV, HIV testing, and HIV services, please visit: https://health.ri.gov/diseases/hivaids/.

Getting Vaccinated

RIDOH is working with community partners to plan additional community clinics. Please use the button below to see all available community vaccination clinics. RIDOH will update this sheet regularly as new appointments become available.

Click Here for Monkeypox Community Vaccination Clinics

Please remember that JYNNEOS is a two-dose series. Please make an appointment for your second dose while you are getting your first dose. Your second dose should be at least 28 days after your first dose.

About JYNNEOS

JYNNEOS is an FDA-approved vaccine for the prevention of smallpox and monkeypox in people age 18 or older who are considered at high-risk for smallpox or monkeypox infection.

JYNNEOS is a two-dose vaccine series. The second dose should be given at least 28 days after the first dose. Full protection is achieved 14 days after the second dose.

This vaccine does not contain the viruses that cause smallpox or monkeypox. The vaccine is made using the vaccinia virus, a virus is similar to but less harmful than the viruses that cause smallpox and monkeypox.

When the JYNNEOS vaccine first became available, it was administered by subcutaneous injection, which means it was administered into a layer of fat underneath the skin in the upper arm. On August 9, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) began allowing healthcare providers to administer JYNNEOS by an intradermal injection. This means the vaccine is administered between two upper layers of skin in the forearm and with a smaller needle. This is how sensitivity tests for allergies and tuberculosis are done.

FDA made this change because intradermal injections require a smaller dose. This is because there are more immune cells near the surface of the skin where the intradermal vaccine is given. Research shows that intradermal and subcutaneous administration produce a similar immune response. Even though a smaller dose is given intradermally, people who get vaccinated by subcutaneous injection and people who get vaccinated by intradermal injection will have very similar protection against monkeypox. By offering this vaccine through intradermal injection, we will effectively increase our supply of JYNNEOS vaccine by five times. This will help make sure everyone who wants to be vaccinated will have an opportunity to be vaccinated. Intradermal administration can cause more redness, swelling, and itchiness at the injection site.

For more information about intradermal JYNNEOS injection, please watch this video from Dr. Philip Chan.

Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Notification List

If you cannot currently get an appointment to be vaccinated through clinics being held by Open Door Health, the Miriam Hospital Infectious Disease Clinic, Thundermist Health Center, or a community clinic, you can submit your information to the Vaccine Interest Notification List. We will contact you when vaccine is available.

Sign up for the Vaccine Interest Notification List: https://bit.ly/3oPcXi3

If you need help signing up for the Vaccine Interest Notification List, please call the RIDOH Health Information Line at 401-222-5960.

If you have appointments for your first and second dose and would like to unsubscribe from this list, you can unsubscribe here.

Treatment

Monkeypox and smallpox viruses are genetically similar, which means that antiviral drugs developed for smallpox may be used to treat monkeypox virus infections. Antivirals, such as tecovirimat (TPOXX), may be recommended for some people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems. Not all patients are clinically eligible. In close consultation with patients’ healthcare providers and the CDC, RIDOH is authorizing and coordinating the use of treatment for eligible patients.

For Healthcare Providers

Healthcare providers should review RIDOH’s latest Advisory, Monkeypox: Key Points for Providers.

CDC Information

Please find the latest information about monkeypox from CDC below (this content may take a moment to load):

Publications & Resources

For Community Partners

For Healthcare Providers

For Healthcare Workers

For Public

Factsheets

Frequently Asked Questions

For Teens

Factsheets

  • What You Need to Know about Monkeypox if You are a Teen or Young Adult (English) (Spanish)