State health officials held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the status of monkeypox in Mississippi.
The state’s first case was reported on Monday afternoon, and State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers warns that there are more cases to come.
“Just know that it’s likely we will identify more cases and certainly, we will be reporting those out,” Byers said.
Byers also explained that while 98% of cases across 16 countries between April and June were in gay or bisexual men, anyone can get monkeypox, regardless of sexual orientation.
“No matter your gender, no matter your sexual orientation, anyone can get monkeypox,” he said.
As for vaccine availability, Mississippi currently has 600 doses of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine — enough for only 300 people. However, the CDC is working to deliver more doses to the State Department of Health (MSDH).
“Currently, CDC is working on the next phase of vaccine distribution,” Byers said. “Primarily, most of the doses have gone to those areas that have identified the most cases. We’ve got one case in Mississippi so far, and we do expect additional doses but we really don’t know how many we might get.”
If you are exposed to monkeypox, the first step you should take is to contact your provider. The MSDH will then work with the provider to collect a sample and get the person vaccinated, if necessary. Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and muscle aches, followed by a rash that starts out as flat before advancing to pimples, or blisters and ulcers on the face, body, and sexual organs.
To learn more about monkeypox in Mississippi, click here.