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Monkeypox Virus

Monkeypox Virus

Statistics and Weekly Reports

Older state data can be found here. In addition, you can find the status report from CDC here, including current case counts by state: CDC - U.S. Monkeypox Outbreak 2022 Situation Summary

Overview

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It was first discovered in 1958 when there were two outbreaks of a pox-like disease in colonies of monkeys kept for research. The first human case was in 1970. Prior to 2022, nearly all U.S. cases were related to international travel.

Please refer to the CDC - Monkeypox 2022 U.S. Map & Case Count for current New Mexico and national case counts.

Monkeypox: How Do I Get Vaccinated?

At this time, the Department of Health will not be releasing any identifiable data to protect sensitive patient health information from being disclosed without the patient's consent or knowledge. For more information, please see New Mexico's Rule for Small Numbers and Public Data Release and the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

Monkeypox Vaccine in New Mexico

Two vaccines are currently authorized or approved in the U.S. to prevent Monkeypox, JYNNEOS and ACAM2000. JYNNEOS is currently being used internationally to address Monkeypox.

If you think you are at risk for Monkeypox and are interested in a vaccine:

  • Register by phone: 1-855-600-3453, Option 4; Option 9 for Spanish.
  • Register online at: monkeypoxnm.org
  • You will be invited to schedule a vaccine appointment based on your risk.

Vaccine Allocation

The amount of vaccine available in New Mexico is still limited. That means we need to prioritize people at highest risk of being exposed to Monkeypox.

Vaccine for Contacts of a Monkeypox Case

Anyone who was a contact in the past 14 days to either someone who has been diagnosed with Monkeypox infection or someone who has not received test results back yet but has been told by their provider it is most likely a Monkeypox infection. This includes household contacts.

Preventive Doses of Vaccine for Persons at Risk

Preventive doses are available for persons at risk who do not have symptoms of Monkeypox infection. Risk is based on the profile of cases, both in New Mexico and across the United States. At this time, this includes:

  • Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men, transgender or nonbinary people who in the past year have had one or more sex partner
  • Persons of any gender or sexual orientation who engage in commercial and/or transactional sex
  • Sexual partners of people with the above risks
  • Persons living with HIV, especially persons with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease
  • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks
  • Persons who had skin-to-skin or intimate contact with someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox, including those who have not yet been confirmed by Public Health

Persons who believe they are at risk and do not fall into the group above can reach out to the call center (1-855-600-3453) for a confidential consultation. Eligibility will expand as more vaccine becomes available.

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Signs and Symptoms

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox. Symptoms of monkeypox can 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 goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.

Monkeypox can look like a lot of other diseases, such as syphilis. You can find free syphilis and other STD testing here: HIV Hepatitis STD Online Resource Guide


What Do I Do If I Think I Might Have Been Exposed

You should seek medical guidance from your health care provider if you:

  1. Had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox
  2. Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, sexually active individuals who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., a bar or party)
  3. Traveled outside the US to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing
  4. Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that exists only in Africa or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)

You can learn more on this page from the CDC: CDC - Monkeypox Signs & Symptoms

What should a person do if they have a new or unexplained rash, sores, or other symptoms?

  • Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider. If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.
  • When you see a healthcare provider, remind them that this virus is circulating in the area.
  • Avoid gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal, skin-to-skin contact.
  • Do not share items that could come in contact with the rash or lesions (e.g., bed linens, clothing, towels, wash cloths). Do not share drinking glasses or eating utensils.
  • Think about the people you have had close, personal, or sexual contact within the last 21 days, including people you met through dating apps. You might be asked to share this information if you have received a monkeypox diagnosis, to help stop the spread.

Information For Health Care Professionals

CDC has information for health care professionals, including the case definition and clinical guidance. See information here: CDC - Monkeypox Information for Healthcare Professionals

In New Mexico, it is essential to report any suspect, probable or confirmed cases. Call the NMDOH Epidemiology and Response Division (ERD) 24/7 call line at 505-827-0006 for questions about:

  1. Who to test
  2. How to test
  3. Where to send specimens
  4. Management of suspected or confirmed cases

Specific directions are in these Health Action Alerts:

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