What You Need to Know about Covid-19 and Monkeypox

What You Need to Know about Covid-19 and Monkeypox

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Covid-19

This week we learned that President Biden tested positive for Covid-19. Many of us know someone or have tested positive for the coronavirus in recent days or weeks. The Omicron variants are mutating and becoming dominant.
 
We are fortunate that Connecticut and Massachusetts are maintaining low- to medium-risk levels based on the current CDC metrics. Rhode Island currently reports low level transmission across the state. It is not time however, to let down our guard! Known infections are rising in many states and many more cases are not counted due to the prevalence of home testing.
 
In the U.S., 35 counties are considered high risk, red zones according to the CDC Data Tracker Metrics Integrated County View. Click on the link to check the level of risk where you live, work, or are planning to travel, so you can protect yourself and your loved ones. Remember masks are recommended, especially when indoors where risk levels are high or if you are immune compromised.
 
The most important thing we can do is to stay up to date with our Covid vaccinations. Get vaccinated if you have not and you are eligible. Get your boosters when eligible, this interactive CDC guide will tell you when to get your shots. Wear your mask when in crowded places if you are immune compromised or not fully vaccinated, or indoors in areas of high infection. Continue to practice good hand washing!
 
A Boston Globe report on July 20, 2022 stated that, while it is not yet known whether or not the Omicron BA.5 variant is more contagious than other variants, experts agree that the virus will continue to spread throughout the summer months with increased infections and hospitalizations. So, stay informed, and be safe to stay well. 

Monkeypox

US Monkeypox Cases as of July 20, 2022: The CDC has confirmed 2,323 monkeypox cases in 45 states and territories. Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have reported fewer than 100 cases, and New York has reported 581 monkeypox cases. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of the monkeypox virus to prevent the spread. Here are some important facts and links:
 
CDC What You Need to Know
  • New isolation guidelines 
  • The monkeypox virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox.
  • Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion, and 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, or private areas. Photos of a typical monkeypox rash are available by clicking the link above.
  • You can take steps to prevent getting monkeypox and lower your risk during sex.
    • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with someone with a monkeypox-like rash, wash your hands often with soap and water or hand sanitizer, do not have close intimate contact with someone with a monkeypox-like rash, or share bedding, towels, or clothing. Do not share eating utensils or cups.
  •  CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to monkeypox. Discuss vaccination with your healthcare provider.​
  • If you have any symptoms of monkeypox, talk to your healthcare provider, even if you don’t think you had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
  • CDC is urging healthcare providers in the United States to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox.
CDC Social Gatherings, Safer Sex and Monkeypox – a two-page information sheet is available to download.
 

Contact Information

Karen Methot

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Author

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Debbie Ringen

Deborah is the Minister of Health and Wellness at the Southern New England Conference.

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