CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) – Several local public health departments are encouraging those interested in a monkeypox virus vaccine to complete an online survey to determine their eligibility.
Officials from the Black Hawk, Johnson, Linn and Scott County Public Health Departments said people who believe they are at high risk of contracting the virus that causes monkeypox should complete the online survey. The survey asks general questions about risk factors such as sexual orientation, gender identity, recent sexual history and potential close contact with a positive case.
The survey will confidentially share contact information with any of the four health services listed if the respondent provides it for a possible vaccination appointment.
Symptoms of monkeypox, which usually take seven to 14 days to develop after exposure, can include a flu-like illness with fever, fatigue, enlarged lymph nodes, and possibly a rash. The rash can show up as sores that look like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, or on other parts of the body like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or the anus.
The virus is spread by direct contact with the skin where a rash or sores exist and from bodily fluids. Although not strictly a sexually transmitted infection, intimate or sexual contact has been a common route of infection in this outbreak, including activities like kissing, cuddling, or intercourse. Exposure to clothing or bedding that has come into contact with a person’s bodily fluids or wounds can also lead to infection. Exposure to secretions from prolonged face-to-face contact can potentially be another route of infection.
Those with symptoms or potential contact with someone with monkeypox are encouraged to contact their doctor, officials said.
As of Wednesday, Aug. 25, there have been 17 confirmed cases of monkeypox in Iowa, according to the Iowa Department of Public Health.
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