N.C. health officials visit Mecklenburg County to review monkeypox response

Monkeypox is spreading by close, often intimate, skin-to-skin contact.
North Carolina state health officials were in Charlotte Monday to see how county health officials are handling the monkeypox outbreak.
Published: Aug. 8, 2022 at 5:13 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - North Carolina state health officials were in Charlotte Monday to see how county health officials are handling the monkeypox outbreak.

North Carolina Health Secretary Kody Kinsley and other health officials were at the Mecklenburg County Health Department to speak with county health director Dr. Raynard Washington and others.

New statewide monkeypox numbers are expected later Monday, but as of Friday, there were 95 cases in N.C. During a briefing Monday, state health officials said Mecklenburg County currently has 60 cases.

As of Friday, there were 95 cases in N.C. Half of those are in Mecklenburg County.

Cabarrus, Rowan and Cleveland counties have also each reported a case.

Monkeypox is spreading by close, often intimate, skin-to-skin contact. Nearly all the cases so far have been in men who have sex with other men but doctors believe it’s only a matter of time before more women and children are infected, too.

Doctors say that vaccines can prevent infection. Right now, N.C. has gotten more than 10,000 doses. However, only around 2,200, or about 22%, have been administered.

Related: Mecklenburg County to receive additional doses of monkeypox vaccine, health officials say

Health officials said more can be done to make sure health officials are connecting with the right populations.

“Realize that stigma plays an important role in how we message. We need to make sure that we’re not blaming and we’re actually reaching out to communities to try to seek partnerships,” Dr. Vincent Guilamo-Ramos, dean of Duke University School of Nursing, said.

Anyone over 18 who self-identifies as high risk can get a monkeypox vaccine.

Overnight, WBTV reached out to Mecklenburg County Public Health to get an update on how many vaccines they have and how many people are on the waitlist. Check back for an update when that information is received.

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