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Monkeypox Transmission in Public Settings: How to Prevent Spread of Infection

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Aug. 9, 2022

ATLANTA –The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) continues to closely monitor the current outbreak of monkeypox in the state. As of today, there are 625 confirmed monkeypox cases in Georgia. Testing and vaccination are available in health districts throughout the state; however, vaccine supplies from the federal government remain limited.

The monkeypox virus can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. 

More than 90% of the people with monkeypox in the current outbreak generally report having close, sustained physical contact with other people who have monkeypox. While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.

Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way monkeypox spreads but has not been identified to be a common mode of transmission in this outbreak or for monkeypox in general.

The risk of contracting monkeypox is based on exposure – an individual must be exposed to enough virus to become infected. What is currently known about monkeypox transmission indicates that sharing bedding or towels with someone who is infected with monkeypox would carry more risk than passing encounters with money or a door handle or other environmental surfaces.

Most settings where people congregate such as workplaces, schools, grocery stores, gas station, or public transportation are not considered high risk settings for monkeypox transmission. It is important to remember that monkeypox is not transmitted like COVID and typically takes skin-to-skin or other close contact to transmit. Unlike COVID or measles, this means far lower risk to persons that may be in a room with someone with monkeypox, but who do not have contact with the infected individual. 

There are things you can do to protect yourself from getting monkeypox:  

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.


For more information on monkeypox, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/monkeypox or https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

SERVICE ALERT 

Due to today’s worldwide cybersecurity outage, some services have been impacted.

  • You may experience delays reaching our Call Center, which handles health center appointments.
  • WIC benefit issuance is unavailable at this time. However, eWIC cards can still be used at authorized WIC vendors.


This outage has not only affected DeKalb Public Health, but other government and business services, in Georgia, throughout the nation and internationally.

We apologize for the inconvenience and greatly appreciate your patience, as we work with our partners to fully restore systems.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Wednesday, December 25th, in observance of the holiday. Merry Christmas and happy holidays!

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on November 28-29th, in observance of the State holiday.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Monday, November 11th, in observance of the Veterans Day holiday.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Monday, October 14th, in observance of the State holiday.

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Monday, September 2, in observance of the holiday. Have a safe and healthy Labor Day! 

SERVICE ALERT

In observance of Juneteenth, all DeKalb Public Health centers will be closed on Wednesday, June 19th. #happyjuneteenth

SERVICE ALERT: Our health centers will be closed on Thursday, July 4th, in observance of the Federal Holiday. Have a safe and healthy Fourth of July!