KINGSTON, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Ulster County confirmed its first case of monkeypox on Saturday, according to a release from Commissioner of Health Dr. Carol Smith. Cases have previously been identified in neighboring Dutchess, Orange, Rockland, Sullivan, and Westchester Counties.
Smith said the county has been preparing for this and is ready to act quickly to ensure public health and safety. “We are in daily contact with public health officials at the state level to stay abreast of the latest developments,” Smith said. “We have a limited supply of the Jynneos vaccine to administer to individuals who meet the criteria established by the New York State Department of Health.”
For severe cases, the county also has access to treatment through the state, continued Smith. “If you believe you have been exposed to monkeypox, contact a healthcare provider,” urged the commissioner.
Monkeypox is a viral infection closely related to smallpox. It can be spread through direct skin-to-skin contact with monkeypox lesions, or by contact with respiratory droplets or saliva from someone who has the virus. It can also be spread by touching objects or surfaces that have been handled by someone with monkeypox.
Symptoms can include rashes, bumps, or blisters on or around the genitals, hands, feet, chest, or face; and flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and fatigue. The flu-like symptoms may show up before or after the rash appears, or not at all.
New York State guidelines limit eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine to those with exposure to a suspected or confirmed case within the past 14 days, or to those at high risk of exposure. High-risk groups include gay men and members of the bisexual, transgender, and gender non-conforming communities, and other men who have sex with men who have engaged in intimate or skin-to-skin contact with others in the past 14 days in areas where monkeypox is spreading. Individuals who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity are also eligible for the vaccine.