When is the next spike?
This is difficult to predict and depends on many factors. Currently, as of September 2022, we see this infection moving primarily within adult males with links to the LGBTQI+ community. There are certainly cases outside this community but as of now, this is a population with primary focus. This virus affects everyone regardless of gender, age, race, nationality, or sexual activity. I suspect that this virus will begin to move into males and females, all age groups towards the end of 2022.
How much should we think about monkeypox when we leave the house?
This should not impact your day-to-day life very much. We know how this disease spreads and recognizing if you have higher risk base on your activities, then more concern should be given. The general public faces a very low risk when they go to the grocery store or the bank or work.
What do I do if I get monkeypox? Is there anything you can put on your skin? How far away do I have to stay from people, is it a quarantine situation?
If you do get monkey pox, the first consideration is to ensure you stay healthy. This is accomplished by having a talk with your family doctor and/or local health department to explore the monkeypox vaccine or antiviral treatment. Staying home and isolating yourself from others is advised until the skin rash has completely resolved.
Do I have to notify my employer if I have monkeypox?You do not have to notify your employer but this is a notifiable disease to the local public health department. The test results are generally sent to the public health department from the lab as soon as the results are available.
Wash clothes and sheets, anything else to help prevent?
Washing clothes or bed linen/sheets and pillowcases is an important way to control the spread of monkeypox. If a person with monkeypox lays in a bed or wears an article of clothing, they can have bits of the virus stay on the sheets or clothing. When someone else lays in the bed or wears the clothing, they risk getting infected. Washing these items helps kill the virus and dramatically decreases risk of infection to others.
It is also important to remember handwashing and mask use helps prevent spread of monkeypox. I also like to tell people to remember what they learned when they were kids. Stay away from sick people, don’t touch your face after touching other surfaces and wash your hands often.
Are they still splitting or diluting the vaccinations to make more supply? Is it ok to have a diluted version?
Some areas of the country have more access to vaccines than others. The traditional vaccine route is into the muscle of the upper arm. Research has shown that the vaccine can be given in a smaller amount, just under the skin. This allows more vaccine to be given to more people. I suspect this will not be a requirement once more vaccine is available.