RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is urging residents to get the mpox vaccine after two cases were reported in the past six weeks.
Mpox, also known as Monkeypox, is spread through skin-to-skin contact. Symptoms can include fever, chills, headache, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion.
Those symptoms are followed by a rash that may be located on the hands, feet, chest, face, mouth or near genitals.
NCDHHS said two cases were reported in the past six weeks– the first since April 2023. The mpox virus was found in one out of 12 wastewater sites that are being monitored.
“If you are at higher risk for mpox and haven’t yet gotten the vaccine, now is a good time to do so,” said Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist. “Numbers of cases have been low recently thanks to vaccinations and engagement of partners in the LGBTQ+ community, but this is a reminder that mpox is still with us.”
NCDHHS recommends five steps to prevent mpox:
- Get vaccinated.
- Use the mpox vaccine locator to find nearby healthcare locations in your area that provide mpox vaccinations.
- Take steps to lower your risk during sex or at social gatherings, like using a condom correctly every time you have sex.
- Avoid close contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.
- Avoid contact with objects and materials a person with mpox has used.
- Wash your hands often.
If you think you have mpox or have had close personal contact with someone who has mpox, visit a health care provider or contact your local health department.
Information about mpox cases and vaccinations in North Carolina is updated monthly and displayed here.