Ulster County Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith reported in a press release on Saturday that Ulster County has its first confirmed case of Monkeypox. She said the Ulster County Department “is poised to respond quickly to ensure public health and safety. Public health nurses are conducting case investigation to identify any potential close contacts, and those close contacts will be offered the JYNNEOS vaccine by the Ulster County Department of Health.” Others who believe they have been exposed to Monkeypox may also be eligible for the vaccine and should call their doctor.
“I want to reassure residents that we are actively managing these developments through our team of public health experts and in coordination with the State Department of Health,” Ulster County Executive Pat Ryan said. “I encourage all residents to be informed of Monkeypox symptoms and to call your doctor if experiencing any. We will continue to update the public to ensure full transparency as the situation develops.”
Monkeypox is a viral infection in the same family as smallpox and spreads in several ways such as by direct contact with Monkeypox lesions through skin-to-skin contact, or by contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from someone with Monkeypox. It can also spread through touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
Monkeypox symptoms can include:
- Rashes, bumps or blisters on or around the genitals or in other areas like hands, feet, chest or face.
- Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and fatigue. These symptoms may occur before or after the rash appears, or not at all.
Currently, New York State guidelines limit Monkeypox vaccine eligibility to individuals who meet the following criteria:
- Individuals with recent exposure to a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case within the past 14 days.
- Those at high risk of a recent exposure to monkeypox, including gay men and members of the bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming community and other communities of men who have sex with men and who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days areas where monkeypox is spreading.
- Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity.
For more information, call the Ulster County Service Center at 845-443-8888, Monday-Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Ask to speak to a public health nurse, if reporting symptoms. Visit the New York State Department of Health’s website to learn more at https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/monkeypox/.