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K-State Today

September 2, 2022

Lafene Health Center shares monkeypox information

Submitted by Shawn Funk

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox.

Anyone can catch monkeypox, as it is primarily transmitted through prolonged skin-to-skin close contact with someone who has the disease. The overall risk to the U.S. public is low. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as of Aug. 30, there are five cases of monkeypox in Kansas, so the risk of monkeypox spreading in the state remains low at this time.

Symptoms include a rash with skin lesions that appear on certain body parts or all over the body. Other symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, headache and respiratory symptoms.

To protect yourself from monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have monkeypox or have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
  • Wash your hands often.

If you have a new or unexplained rash or other symptoms:

  • Avoid close contact, including sex or being intimate with anyone, until you have been checked out by a health care provider.
  • If you don't have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.
  • When you see a health care provider, wear a mask, and remind them that this virus is circulating in the area.

Lafene Health Center does not currently carry the monkeypox vaccine. The Riley County Health Department has received a limited supply of the vaccine and is following CDC's PEP and PEP++ vaccine strategy guidelines at this time. If you feel you are in a high-risk group and would like to be put on Riley County Health Department's list for vaccination, please send a secure message to the nurse through the myLAFENE+ patient portal. Getting added to the list does not guarantee vaccination.