Shreveport, Louisiana (KSLA) – Monkeypox continues to spread to several parts of the country, including northwestern Louisiana. But health officials say there are widespread misconceptions about the virus.
Martha White, Regional LDH Medical Director for Region 7, said the misconception is about how the disease spreads and who gets it.
Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease (STD), according to health officials. It is transmitted through close physical contact, not through sexual contact. The disease is not only found in homosexual or bisexual men, but the majority of cases are now found in these individuals.
It is also found in other demographics, including heterosexual women and children.
“It’s not a disease that’s mostly seen in men who have sex with me. It’s only in this pandemic that they’re seeing it. We were never seen as a big group,” White said.
About 4,200 vaccines have been provided by the federal government to states and then distributed to each region, she said.
“Our area has received doses as small as less than 100 people. Some of them are reserved for contacts of cases. Sex is a high-risk person, especially if you have anonymous sex or have multiple partners.
She says the more vaccines are used, the more vaccines she can receive from the state. This means it’s important to contact the Louisiana Department of Health to see if you’re eligible for the vaccine.
Symptoms of monkeypox include pus-filled blisters or bumps, swollen lymph nodes, fever, and chills.
White says if you think you have a monkeypox rash, be sure to cover yourself up and get seen as soon as possible.
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