If you've been following the world news, you know that the new mysterious disease has been spreading around the world... Well, to be fair, the spread is reasonably slow and the number of "victims" is minimal, especially compared to COVID-19, so I'm not sure we should panic. Having that said, the United States recorded 767 cases of monkeypox as of July 11, 2022. A total of 9,200 cases have been reported by this same date in 63 countries, which is a steep upward slope considering a week ago, on July 9th, there were only 6,000 cases.
The World Health Organization says that monkeypox is "a self-limited disease with the symptoms lasting from 2 to 4 weeks. Severe cases can occur. Recently, the case fatality ratio has been around 3–6%."
A health emergency wasn't declared so far. And yet, some may want to consider the vaccine which prevents this disease.
New York's Solution
The city of New York set up a website allowing New Yorkers to book vaccine appointments, indicating 1,250 vaccines are available. Sadly, the site crashed minutes after being launched, and all the appointments have been booked within that timeframe. No additional bookings are available for now.
Bloomberg reports that more doses will be supplied to those affected by monkeypox:
"Another 620 doses will be directly distributed to people with a suspected or confirmed monkeypox diagnosis, identified by the Health Department through its contact tracing efforts. These shots are the remainder of the 6,000 doses of Bavarian Nordic A/S’s Jynneos vaccine allocated to New York last week. A person is considered fully vaccinated against monkeypox after receiving two doses of Jynneos, spaced about four weeks apart."
What Do We Know for Now?
Here are some facts you should know as a New Yorker, according to NYC Health:
1. As of July 14, 2022, a total of 267 people in the city have tested positive for orthopoxvirus. It's too early to say, but all those cases are likely monkeypox.
2. Most people recovered on their own.
3. Common symptoms include rash and sores, lasting between 2 and 4 weeks.
4. It's too early to say, but there is a chance that men who engage in sexual activity with other men are at a higher risk of contracting the virus.
5. There is a monkeypox outbreak in the United States and some other countries; HOWEVER, no health emergency has been declared yet.
6. You can get a vaccine if you wish to, as long as supplies last. It's important to note there is currently no requirement for any New Yorkers or Americans to get vaccinated, and no restrictions are imposed on those who don't wish to get vaccinated.
7. You can read more about the symptoms, transmission process, and other facts on NYC's Health website.
If you choose to vaccinate, but there are still no available appointment slots, the website suggests signing up for updates:
To get text alerts about vaccination appointments and other monkeypox updates for NYC, text “MONKEYPOX” to 692-692.
Please be mindful of your health and remember that you always have an option of calling 911 or 311 and going to the emergency room to receive care.