ATLANTA (WSAV) — Georgia has nearly 48,000 monkeypox vaccine doses and is reporting 1,033 cases so far.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said Georgia ranks in the top 5 for the highest number of monkeypox cases in the country just behind Texas, Florida, California and New York.
Georgia’s Department of Public Health said monkeypox spreads from skin to skin contact, including kissing or cuddling and can be contracted by sharing clothing or bedding.
“If someone does get exposed through close skin to skin, if they have that exposure they could have monkeypox,” said DPH Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alexander Millman.
While there’s not a vaccine shortage in Georgia, DPH has requested additional doses and says nearly 3 out of 4 cases are in African Americans and most are gay or bisexual men who are sexually active.
“Because of the nature of how it is transmitted, it will be spread through certain social networks,” Millman said.
DPH said monkeypox can cause a rash, bumps or sores in the genital areas, hands, feet, chest, face or mouth. CDC says monkeypox symptoms mirror flu symptoms — like a fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, sore throat, cough or swollen lymph nodes.
“The classic presentation and fever and large lesions,” said Augusta Health Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Phillip Coule.
“It can still affect any individual who may be exposed to it,” Millman said. “We are trying to offer all the limited supply of vaccinations across health departments in Georgia.”
While some people have been hospitalized because of pain issues from sores, DPH said there are no monkeypox-related deaths so far.
Doctors say you may see symptoms about 7-14 days after getting infected but DPH said the risk of contracting monkeypox is based on the exposure amount and an individual must be exposed to enough virus to get infected.
The agency said places with large crowds like the grocery store, workplaces, schools, malls and gas stations are not considered high risk for monkeypox.