Monkeypox virus update in Washoe County

by | Aug 4, 2022

Aug. 4, 2022. Reno/Sparks, Nev. The Washoe County Health District (WCHD) is providing an update on the monkeypox virus in Washoe County. This comes after the White House announced today that a federal public health emergency has been declared for monkeypox.

  • No new monkeypox cases reported; total case count in Washoe County is one.
  • Monkeypox vaccine:
    • Shipments of monkeypox vaccines are provided by state and federal officials; WCHD had no control over vaccine shipments or availability.
    • Monkeypox vaccine is extremely limited.
    • Vaccine eligibility: only close contacts to monkeypox cases and personnel who handle monkeypox test samples/specimens.
    • There are enough vaccines for approximately 150 people in Washoe County (one person gets a two-dose series).
  • Treatment is available for those who are diagnosed with monkeypox.
  • WCHD’s updated webpage can be accessed at washoecounty.gov/monkeypox.
  • Those who have questions can email monkeypox@washoecounty.gov.
  • Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease.
    • It can, however, be spread through physical contact during sex.
    • Anyone can get monkeypox.
    • The virus can be acquired by all people, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation. Most cases have been reported among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men; however, anyone who has close, intimate contact someone who has monkeypox is at risk for acquiring monkeypox.
  • If you think you have monkeypox, contact your primary care physician or other medical provider to obtain testing. Notify the provider ahead of time before entering the physical office.

Monkeypox virtual town hall scheduled for Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at noon

Members of the general public are invited to attend a monkeypox virus virtual town hall where you can ask questions to subject matter experts at the Washoe County Health District and Northern Nevada HOPES.

The virtual town hall will be held Friday, Aug. 5, 2022, at noon. Go to this Zoom link to join the town hall. Questions can be asked by typing them into the chat box and they will be read and answered aloud. You can send questions in advance to soxarart@washoecounty.gov.

The town hall will be recorded and available on our website immediately afterward, www.washoecounty.gov/monkeypox.

More information about monkeypox

According to the CDC, monkeypox spreads from person to person through close physical contact. Monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox but is rarely fatal.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
    • The rash may be painful.

Prevention

According to the CDC, residents should take the following steps to prevent monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Monkeypox testing

If you think you have monkeypox, contact your primary care physician or other medical provider to obtain testing. Notify the provider ahead of time before entering the physical office.

For more information and FAQs, go to www.washoecounty.gov/monkeypox.

The Washoe County Health District is nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board and has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. The District consists of five divisions: Administrative Health Services, Air Quality Management, Community and Clinical Health Services, Environmental Health Services and Epidemiology & Public Health Preparedness. More info can be found here.