LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) – As cases increase in Southern Nevada and the Las Vegas Valley, doctors are working to inform community members about how monkeypox really spreads and how to minimize your risk.
According to the CDC, monkeypox can be spread through sexual intimacy, touching, hugging, objects touched by an infected person, clothing and bedding, and 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 would have to have a very significant exposure to that person,” said Dr. Christina Madison, founder of Public Health Pharmacist and Roseman University Health Sciences, who has worked with the Huntridge Clinic to identify and treat cases.
“Right now, we are not identifying this infection as sexually transmitted, but more intimate contact,” said Dr. Madison. “You have to be extremely close. A dinner date or being at a concert for more than a few hours, rubbing shoulders with them,” she said.
Intimate contact or sexual contact, said Dr. Madison, is the most common scenario for the spread.
Other patients report infections after large gatherings, such as nightclubs, parties, noise or music festivals.
“If you’re attending festivals, or outdoor events are places where there’s a lot of people who are crammed in, and you see a lot of exposed skin and you’re rubbing against people, that’s potentially a risk,” she said. said.
Spread within a household is also another common scenario, where people are in close proximity and can inhale from respiratory droplets. Others may also be in contact with an infected person’s bedding, clothes and even laundry. Children in the US are infected through family transmission.
“If you are in a household with someone who is infected, that person should be isolated until their lesions are completely healed,” she said.
What can people do to protect themselves? Preventive measures include washing hands, avoiding contact with strangers in large gatherings and wearing clothing to cover the extremities.
Eligible people should get the vaccine as soon as they can, or stay away from higher-risk activities until they can get a shot to protect themselves and others, said Dr. Madison.
Children can be protected by making sure their vaccinations are up to date and also by making sure other adults in their family are taking the right precautions.
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