ATLANTA (WSAV) — Georgia is one of six states that has more than 500 cases of monkeypox after the white house declared the virus as a health emergency.
Doctors said the most susceptible groups are gay or bisexual men who are sexually active and of the 544 reported cases in Georgia, six are women.
The Department of Health and Human Services allocated Georgia nearly 14,000 vaccine doses for the first two phases and 34,000 for phase 3 — which rolls out over the next six weeks.
“Right now there is limited supply here in Georgia as well as in the country,” said Dr. Alexander Millman, Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) Chief Medical Officer.
“We know that monkeypox is spreading and in Georgia, it’s within social networks of men who have sex with men,” Millman said. “The best things that individuals can try to do right now is if they are able to get vaccinated to get vaccinated.”
Doctors say the virus spreads from skin to skin contact and by sharing bedding and clothing.
“The typical incubation is about 7-14 days so after 7-14 days an individual would get symptoms,” said Dr. Phillip Coule Augusta Health, Vice President and Chief Medical Officer.
“It’s important to know that monkeypox can infect any individual who does get exposed to it,” Millman said.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said common symptoms include a rash, but you may also develop a fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, or swollen lymph nodes.
“Monkeypox is identified by bubbles or lesions on the skin,” said White House Assistant Press Secretary Kevin Munoz. “It’s not a new disease. We have tests and vaccines to address.”
The state health department said a vaccine is not recommended if you are experiencing symptoms.
DPH said the supply of the vaccine is limited and only eligible for those 18 and older, those most at risk including people who have had close contact with someone else with monkeypox or had a sexual partner with monkeypox within the past two weeks.
DPH says Georgia does not have a vaccine shortage for the second dose.