Health leaders lay out plan to lower monkeypox cases before Charlotte Pride

The last in-person event for Charlotte Pride back in 2019 had 200,000 people attend.
Health leaders say monkeypox cases are doubling every three to four days. Currently, Mecklenburg County has 33 confirmed cases.
Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 5:38 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) – Mecklenburg County health officials want to get a handle on monkeypox before Charlotte Pride, which begins in less than three weeks.

Health leaders say monkeypox cases are doubling every three to four days. Currently, Mecklenburg County has 33 confirmed cases.

The last in-person event for Charlotte Pride back in 2019 had 200,000 people attend.

Supporters expect this year to be as big and that means a lot of people in one place.

Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington says officials have been working closely with Pride organizers, party promotors and more on getting education about monkeypox out to the public.

They even said they’re working on messaging within dating apps.

Health leaders say while the majority of cases are in gay and bisexual men, they want to emphasize that anyone can get monkeypox by close or intimate skin-to-skin contact.

Doctors do note, though, that while they’re keeping an eye on the crowds, a big focus is on educating people before they leave.

“Beyond Pride, of course, much of the transmission currently is not happening at public settings. We’re working to also raise awareness among those sort of nonpublic events and obviously personal accountability for individuals as they go about their everyday lives to ensure we’re getting the word out to the right population and those who are at greatest risk,” Washington said.

Officials also said that they are considering shifting vaccines to places where demand might be high. Right now, Mecklenburg County is expecting 2,000 doses but 18,00 people are on the waitlist.

Doctors continue to say that, while the risk to the general public is low, avoiding that skin-to-skin contact is key.

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