Public Health Offers Monkeypox Vaccination

The Public Health Departments of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will offer monkeypox vaccination to high-risk groups throughout Cincinnati and Hamilton County. There are currently limited supplies of the vaccine, so high-risk populations will be prioritized. To register for the vaccination, visit or to complete a risk assessment and registration.

About Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus (i.e., the monkeypox virus) not commonly seen in the United States. Monkeypox can cause a rash which may look like pimples or blisters, sometimes with a flu-like illness. Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including: Direct contact with the rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. This is believed to be the most common way that monkeypox is spreading in the U.S. The virus can be spread through breathing the respiratory secretions of another, but touching objects, surfaces, and fabrics (such as towels, bedding or clothing) that have been used by someone with monkeypox, can also spread the virus.

Monkeypox Symptoms

You may experience all or only a few of the symptoms of monkeypox. The symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. Most people with monkeypox will get a rash. Flu-like symptoms sometimes precede or follow the rash.

The rash may be located anywhere on the body, including the genitals or anus, the hands, feet, chest, or face. The rash may also be inside the body, including the mouth. The rash will go through several stages before healing, including scabs, and can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later.

If a person feels he or she may have contracted monkeypox, immediately take the following steps:

1) Self-isolate;
2) Avoid gatherings, especially if they involve close, personal, skin-to-skin contact;
3) Avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out by a healthcare provider; and
4) Think about the people you have had close, personal, or sexual contact during the last 21 days. To help stop the spread, you might be asked to share this information if you have received a monkeypox diagnosis.

Seeking Care

When seeking care it is important to CALL your primary care doctor or local urgent care facility before arriving in person. Let them know you have symptoms or have a confirmed exposure. This will allow staff time to prepare a safe visit for you, them, and other patients.

Medicaid recipients, as well as uninsured or under-insured individuals, can visit one of the following Federally Qualified Health Centers:

1) The Lincoln Heights Health Center, located at 1401 Steffen Avenue. Appointments can be scheduled here by calling: (513) 588-3623;
2) The Mt. Healthy Family Practice, located at 1411 Compton Road. Appointments can be scheduled here by calling: (513) 588-3623; or
3) The Cincinnati Medical Center, located at 2805 Gilbert Avenue. Appointments can be scheduled here by calling: (513) 815-4475.

These individuals can alternatively visit one of the six Primary Health Care facilities operated by the Cincinnati Health Department. You can find these clinic locations, hours of operation, and phone numbers, on the Cincinnati Health Department website.

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