Austin-Travis County has recorded its first new mpox (monkeypox) case since February of this year. Austin Public Health (APH) is encouraging at-risk individuals to get vaccinated and follow precautions to protect themselves and others from the spread of this virus.
“This could be the first of many new cases in our community if we aren’t cautious and follow the practices we know work to protect ourselves and others,” said Austin-Travis County Health Authority Dr. Desmar Walkes. “Vaccines are readily available through APH and community partners. The time is now to get your vaccine.”
Information on current vaccine eligibility can be found on APH’s website. Anyone seeking a vaccine can schedule an appointment with APH by calling 512-972-5520 or by contacting local vaccine providers.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention raised concerns about a resurgence of mpox over the spring and summer months after a cluster of mpox cases were reported in the Chicago area in April and May of this year. Nine of the cases were among men who had received two JYNNEOS vaccine doses, emphasizing the importance of following precautions even when vaccinated.
“Many people in our community were greatly affected by the outbreak we experienced last year. An mpox infection meant they experienced severe pain, were possibly hospitalized and had to isolate themselves from others for weeks,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “Let’s use the tools we have at our disposal to keep ourselves safe and enjoy this summer to the fullest.”
Protective measures to help reduce the spread of mpox include:
Being fully clothed and avoiding skin-to-skin contact with strangers.
Limiting close and or/intimate contact to people you know, including sharing items like drinks and blankets.
Wearing well-fitting masks in close quarters when social distancing isn’t possible to reduce direct exchange of mouth/nasal fluids.
Washing/sanitizing your hands as well as cleaning surfaces.
Staying home if you feel sick or experience any symptoms.