CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) — West Virginia now has three identified cases of monkeypox.
Monkeypox is spreading within the gay and LGBTQ+ community, but anyone could get if they are exposed.
As monkeypox cases continue to climb across the U.S., the demand for vaccinations goes up too. Experts say there’s a limited supply of the vaccine.
“Right now, we’re sticking with the guidelines,” said Angie Settle, Executive Director of West Virginia Health Right.
Settle says only people at high risk for the disease are eligible for the shot.
“The person needs to be 18 or older, identify as gay, bisexual, or transgender man having had multiple sex partners in the last 14 days, or having engaged in sexual contact with somebody they’re not familiar with,” Settle said.
While monkeypox is not classified as a sexually transmitted disease, sexual activities can increase your risk. There are also other ways of catching it.
“That also means sharing bed sheets or towels or things like that, close contact like that. You can also transmit it that way as well,” Settle said.
The vaccine is given in two parts, 28 days apart.
“You’re not fully protected by just one vaccine, you want to get the full course, and then it takes a few weeks after that for full coverage to begin,” Settle said.
West Virginia has three confirmed cases of monkeypox. Ohio has at least one case and Kentucky has at least two cases. A common question is does monkeypox leave scars?
“Depends on the severity,” Settle said. “So, you could get some scarring much like any other skin condition based on how severe the case is.”
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Symptoms include rashes that look like pimples or blisters on one’s face, inside the mouth or other body parts.
Contact your local health department if you think you are high-risk.