The World Health Organization has declared Monkeypox a World Health Emergency. The community of Fresno County should know that:
Monkeypox is a rare disease and, while many people affected in the current global outbreaks identify as gay or bisexual, monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including:
- Direct contact with monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs from a person with monkeypox.
- Contact with objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
- Contact with respiratory secretions, through kissing and other face-to-face contact.
This contact can happen in certain social and sexual situations including:
- Hugging, massage, and kissing.
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butt) of a person with monkeypox.
- Touching fabrics and objects that were used by a person with monkeypox and that have not been disinfected, such as eating utensils, cups, bedding, towels, clothing, fetish gear, and sex toys.
Monkeypox is not spread through casual conversation or someone simply walking by, for instance.
There are currently several known cases of monkeypox in Fresno County, individuals can help limit the spread of the disease by:
- Washing your hands often with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand sanitizer
- Avoiding close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Not sharing eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Not handling or touching the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Staying home and contacting your healthcare provider if you:
- feel sick
- have a fever, chills, or swollen lymph nodes,
- have a new or unexplained rash, which may look like pimples, blisters, or sores
Vaccinations are now available for men who have sex with men and those living with HIV.