Rise in monkeypox cases lead to health concerns in Mississippi

STARKVILLE, Miss. (WCBI)- We’ve been here before—Reporting new cases of a transmissible virus and wondering how it will affect our families.

Ten-thousand cases of Monkeypox have been identified nation-wide, and that number is expected to rise.

As monkey pox cases slowly creep into double digits in Mississippi, some may be wondering if they’re at-risk for the virus.

That’s why health professionals are informing the public about safety practices.

Monkeypox cases have been trending slightly upward in the Magnolia State.

So far, the Mississippi State Department of Health has confirmed 11 positive cases.

Dr. David Buys, a state health specialist with the MSU Extension Center, is weighing in with his concerns about the illness.

” COVID-19 started in the summer when it was only just a few cases and a few more cases and a few more cases. We’re not at the risk of it exploding like covid-19 did. But still, what happens? What’s next? That uncertainty is growing,” said Dr. Buys.

Do your research—Buys encourages families to educate themselves on symptoms, personal protection, and how the virus spreads.

” It is absolutely imperative that we look above the population at risk and the actual modes of transmission. Avoiding close skin-to-skin contact, people who have a rash that looks like Monkeypox,” said Buys.

Right now, vaccinations are only available at 9 health department clinics in Mississippi–those are Lowndes, Lee, Panola, Leflore, Lauderdale, Adams, Hinds, Forrest and Harrison Counties.

” Pay attention to the importance of the vaccine and when it’s available, if in fact you are engaged in sexual activity with unfamiliar partners. It’s essential to stayed tuned to the data, stay tuned to the recommendations and take action as soon as you’re able,” said Buys.

He believes it’s up to the community to slow the spread of the disease.

” I do think we’ve got to pay attention to the numbers. Our fate is in our own hands. And we’re at a point now with only 11 cases in the state. If we engage in behaviors that are recommended by the CDC and the state department of health, we can curb transmission,” said Buys.

To get the shot, you must be18-years-old or older.

Those with certain risk factors or who may have been exposed to Monkeypox can be considered for a vaccine.

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