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  • Monkeypox

    Updated September 30, 2022

    Expanded eligibility for monkeypox vaccine

    The Pima County Health Department has expanded the eligibility for the monkeypox vaccine and will be offering vaccination at the Tucson Pride Festival on Saturday, Oct. 1, from 1:30 to 6 p.m. at the Georges DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center at Reid Park.

    There are other ample opportunities to get a monkeypox vaccine.

    If you need an initial shot or second dose -- you're eligible 28 days after receiving your first dose -- you can call to schedule an appointment at one the Health Department’s clinics:
    • Theresa Lee Health Center, 1493 W. Commerce Court, 520-724-7900
    • North Clinic, 3550 N. 1st Ave., 520-724-2880
    • East Clinic, 6920 E. Broadway Blvd., 520-724-9650
    The Health Department will also hold monkeypox vaccination events on Oct. 15 and Oct. 29 at the Abrams Public Health Center, 3950 S. Country Club Rd. They will be held from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. both days.

    It’s important to get your second dose because you’re not fully protected until two weeks after completing the two-shot series.

    People are eligible for the first dose of the monkeypox vaccine at Pima County Health Department clinics if they:
    • In the past 12 months, have had a new diagnosis of one or more sexually transmitted infections (STI), including acute HIV, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis
    • In the past 12 months, had sexual contact with more than one person
    • Have been in contact with somebody who has monkeypox
    • Have a sexual partner who had a new diagnosis of an STI in the past 12 months
    • Anticipate experiencing the above risks
    • Are in certain occupational exposure risk groups*
    *Health care providers who work in settings where exposure to monkeypox infection is anticipated on a daily basis, such as:
    • Lab workers who routinely work with monkeypox specimens
    • Health care providers who work in sexual health/STI clinics
    • Health care providers who work in settings primarily serving LGBTQIA+ communities
    Note: At this time, most clinicians in the United States and laboratorians not performing the orthopoxvirus generic test to diagnose orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox, are not advised to receive orthopoxvirus PrEP.

    What is Monkeypox?

    Probable/confirmed monkeypox cases in Pima County: 55

    Data will be updated Monday through Friday in the mornings, with the data as of the day before. (Updated Sept. 30)

    (ADHS: Arizona infectious disease numbers, updated weekly)
    • Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious illness caused by the monkeypox virus. The CDC is tracking the current outbreak in the United States.
    • Monkeypox is similar to smallpox but is milder. It causes a rash that looks like pimples or blisters and can last 2-4 weeks. Anyone can get monkeypox.
    • The type of monkeypox seen in this outbreak is rarely fatal. However, some groups are likely at higher risk of severe illness, including children under age 8, people who have weakened immune systems or are pregnant, and people with history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.

    What are the symptoms?

    • A rash develops that can be painful and looks like pimples or blisters. It may appear on the face, in the mouth, or on the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus.
    • Some people may get flu-like symptoms (such as fever, chills, headache, backache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion) before the rash, but some people only get the rash.
    • The rash goes through different stages before healing completely.
    The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks. People with weakened immune systems may be more likely to get severely ill.

    People seeking testing for monkeypox must consult with their healthcare provider first; providers can submit specimens to commercial labs for testing. If you don't have a healthcare provider or insurance, you can call Pima County's Theresa Lee Clinic (520-724-7900) or North Clinic (520-724-2880) to schedule an appointment.

    What if I have symptoms?

    Images of minkeypox rash
    • Contact your health care provider.
    • Isolate at home for the duration of the illness if possible, except to see a healthcare provider.
    • Keep your rash/sores covered with clothing (long sleeves or pants) or bandages.
    • Wear a mask if you have to be around others.
    • Avoid sex or intimate contact.
    • Don't share clothing, bedding, towels, dishes or utensils.
    • Hand washing is important, as is cleaning and disinfection of surfaces that you may have touched.
    The CDC offers regularly updated information for healthcare providers and the public. The CDC also has monkeypox information for travelers.

    Photo credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

    How does the virus spread?

    The virus can spread by:
    • Direct, skin-to-skin contact with someone's rash, sores, or scabs.
    • Contact with items that touched an infected person’s rash, such as bedding, towels, or unwashed clothing.
    • Respiratory secretions from prolonged, face-to-face contact or through close intimate contact like kissing, cuddling, massage, or oral, anal or vaginal sex.
    • Pregnant individuals can spread the virus to the fetus, or through close contact after birth.
    Having multiple sex partners may increase your chances for exposure to monkeypox.

    Monkeypox is NOT spread through:
    • Casual conversations
    • Walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store
    • Briefly touching items like doorknobs
    See more isolation and prevention practices to keep from spreading monkeypox.

    The virus is contagious and can spread from the time symptoms first start until the rash has fully healed. We don’t yet know if monkeypox can be spread through semen or through vaginal fluids. See steps you can take to prevent getting the virus, and how to lower your risk at social gatherings or during sex.

    The FDA, in an emergency use authorization, now allows for the use of the vaccine in individuals younger than 18 years old determined to be at high risk of monkeypox infection.

     Link/share our site by using pima.gov/monkeypox

    Monkeypox videos from Pima County


    "Healthy You" Town Hall: What you need to know about Monkeypox

    Monkeypox videos from the CDC

    5 Things Sexually Active People Need to Know About Monkeypox (July 18)
    5 Things to Know about Monkeypox (June 2)
    Dog on couchThe monkeypox virus is zoonotic, meaning it is spread between animals and humans — so, yes, you can give it to your pets, and vice versa.

    People who are infected can spread monkeypox virus to animals through close contact, including petting, cuddling, hugging, kissing, licking, sharing sleeping areas, and sharing food.

    Considerations for isolating with animals in the home:

    • People with monkeypox should avoid contact with animals (specifically mammals), including pets.
    • If possible, friends or family members should care for healthy animals until the owner has fully recovered.
    • Keep any potentially infectious bandages, textiles (such as clothes, bedding) and other items away from pets, other domestic animals, and wildlife.
    • In general, any mammal may become infected with monkeypox. It is not thought that other animals such as reptiles, fish or birds can be infected.
    • If you notice an animal that had contact with an infected person appears sick (such as lethargy, lack of appetite, coughing, bloating, nasal or eye secretions or crust, fever, rash) contact the owner’s veterinarian, state public health veterinarian, or state animal health official.
    See more suggestions from the CDC if you have pets in your home. There is information for veterinarians, and also specifically for public health veterinarians and animal health officials.

    Questions about monkeypox?

    Healthcare providers with questions about monkeypox may contact our Epidemiology Division at any time.  Click/Tap to call 520-724-7797.

    Clinical recognition guidance for monkeypox, including photos, can be found on this CDC page.

    Clinicians' resources

    CDC: HAN advisory from September 29, 2022
    PCHD: Tecovirimat (TPOXX) Ordering and Dispensing Process
    PCHD: Monkeypox suspect case checklist for providers
    PCHD: HAN advisory from July 15, 2022
    CDC: Clinician FAQs
    CDC: Information for healthcare professionals
    CDC: Monkeypox info page
    CDC: HAN advisory from May 20, 2022
    CDC: Treatment Information for Healthcare Professionals
    CDC: Situation summary
    CDC: Prevention and control in healthcare settings
    CDC: Information on obtaining and using TPOXX
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