How do you catch Monkeypox? FOX5 gets answers from health district pharmacist

LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – As cases pop up in Southern Nevada and the Las Vegas Valley, doctors are working to educate community members about how monkeypox really spreads, and how to reduce your risk.

According to the CDC, Monkeypox can be spread through sexual intimacy, touching, hugging, objects touched by an infected person, items of clothing and bedding, as well as respiratory droplets. The wide range has led to much confusion about how to prevent infection.

What scenarios put you at risk? Can strangers give it to you? What about the risks to children?

“Your risk is probably still quite low in public places. You will have to have a very significant exposure to that person,” says dr. Christina Madison, founder of The Public Health Pharmacist and Roseman University of Health Sciences, who worked with The Huntridge Clinic to identify and treat cases.

“At the moment we do not identify this infection as sexually transmitted, but more intimate contact,” Dr. Madison said. “You will have to be very close. A dinner date or being at a concert for more than a few hours, rubbing up against them,” she said.

Intimate contact or sexual contact, Dr. Madison said, is the most common scenario for the spread.

Other patients report infections after large gatherings, such as nightclubs, parties, raves or music festivals.

“If you’re attending festivals, or outdoor events are places where there’s a lot of people packed in tight, and you’re seeing a lot of exposed skin and you’re rubbing against people, that’s potentially a risk,” she said.

Spread within a household is also another common scenario, where people are in close proximity and can breathe in respiratory droplets. Others may also be in contact with an infected person’s bedding, linens and even laundry. Children in the US have been infected through household spread.

“If you are in a household with someone who is infected, that person should isolate until their lesions are completely healed,” she said.

What can people do to protect themselves? Preventive measures include hand washing, being mindful of contact with strangers at large gatherings, and wearing clothing to cover limbs.

Eligible people should get the vaccine as soon as they can, or stay away from higher-risk activities until they can get a vaccine to protect themselves and others, Dr. Madison said.

Children can be protected by making sure their vaccinations are up to date, and also making sure other adults in their household take proper precautions.

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