On Tuesday, June 28th, Provincetown officials held an online public forum to address concerns surrounding MPV, formerly referred to as monkeypox. Three speakers from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health […]Read More
Monkeypox (MPV) on Cape Cod: Resources for Residents, Visitors, Businesses, and Practitioners
Monkeypox virus, which was recently renamed by the World Health Organization (WHO) as MPV, was discovered in 1958 among a colony of monkeys kept for research in Africa, is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Symptoms of the virus are similar to those of smallpox, but milder. MPV is rarely fatal. Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has been tracking several cases of MPV around the world, due to an increase of cases in countries (including the United States) that don’t usually report it. As of July 5, 2022, 23 cases of MPV have been reported in the state of Massachusetts.
MPV is considered rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact. The threat of MPV to the general U.S. population remains LOW. Nonetheless, it’s important for the public to be aware of symptoms and transmission, and remain vigilant in order to prevent further spread of the virus.
IMPORTANT PUBLIC HEALTH INFORMATION!
On Tuesday, June 28th, Provincetown officials held an online public forum to address concerns surrounding MPV, formerly referred to as monkeypox. Three speakers from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MA DPH), Bureau of Infectious Disease and Laboratory Sciences, included Kevin Cranston, Director and Assistant Commissioner of MA DPH, Dr. Larry Madoff, Medical Director, and Doctor Catherine Brown, State Epidemiologist. The forum was moderated by Senator Julian Cyr, with health officials from Provincetown and Barnstable County in attendance as well. The forum was open to the public.
The document linked below includes a list of questions that were discussed during the forum. As the summer season progresses, free of COVID-19 restrictions and promising fun and festivities for all, health officials want to ensure that the public is well informed about health risks related to MPV.
*The information presented here are based on our current knowledge and understanding of MPV. As research progresses, some of the information may be updated or changed. Further, this information pertains to non-healthcare settings only.
What You Should Know about Monkeypox (MPV)
Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment is working closely with the 15 town health departments, local community leaders, and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to monitor the spread of MPV and minimize its potential impact on our region.
Health agents are working with licensed businesses in their jurisdictions whose staff and/or guests could be exposed to MPV; sharing signs and symptoms, and recommending cleaning protocols that can help to prevent the spread of MPV. Barnstable County provides additional support in the form of communication resources and public health nursing consultation when needed, helping to keep the public abreast of risk factors and mitigation measures.
- Direct contact (touch, intimacy, sexual contact) with body fluids or fluid from pox vesicles.
- Indirect contact with fomites (items that have been contaminated with the virus such as clothing, bedding, or towels).
- Spread of large respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact.
- Casual conversation with an infected person.
- Walking by an infected person in the grocery store.
- Touching items like doorknobs.
- Flu-like illness (fever, chills, malaise, headache, muscle aches) after an incubation period of typically 6 to 16 days.
- Swollen Lymph nodes in the neck and/or armpit or other areas of the body.
- Appearance of a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.
- Hand washing with soap and water or use of an alcohol-based hand rub should be performed by infected persons and household contacts after touching lesion material, clothing, linens, or environmental surfaces that may have had contact with lesion material.
- Dishes and other eating utensils should not be shared. It is not necessary for the infected person to use separate utensils if properly washed.
- Soiled dishes and eating utensils should be washed in a dishwasher or by hand with warm water and soap.
- Laundry (e.g., bedding, towels, clothing) may be washed in a standard washing machine with warm water and detergent; bleach may be added but is not necessary.
- Soiled laundry should not be shaken or otherwise handled in a manner that may disperse infectious particles.
- Care should be used when handling soiled laundry to avoid direct contact with contaminated material.
- Contaminated surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected. Standard household products may be used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
MPV can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact including:
- Oral, anal, and vaginal sex or touching the genitals or anus of a person with monkeypox
- Hugging, massage, kissing, or talking closely
- Touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox, such as bedding, towels and sex toys
We know the virus can be spread in fluid or pus from monkeypox sores, and are trying to better understand if virus could be present in semen, vaginal fluids or other body fluids.
If you or your partner have MPV or any symptoms that could be related to monkeypox, you should avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until all your sores have healed and you have a fresh layer of skin formed.
For more information, please visit:
People who may have symptoms of monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider. This includes anyone who:
- Traveled to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where MPV cases have been reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of MPV during the month before their symptoms began.
- Reports close or intimate contact with a confirmed monkeypox case or person with suspected MPV symptoms.
Helpful Online Resources
MPV in the News
June 28, 2022 | The Biden-Harris Administration has announced the first phase of its national monkeypox vaccine strategy, a critical part of its monkeypox outbreak response. The vaccine strategy will […]Read More
June 1, 2022 | Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that don’t normally […]Read More
Since 13 May 2022, monkeypox has been reported to the World Health Organization (WHO) from 23 Member States that are not endemic for monkeypox virus, across four WHO regions. Epidemiological investigations are ongoing.Read More
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