Alarming surge in mpox cases in Virginia: What you need to know

Mumps cases on the rise, says Virginia Department of Health

In recent months, there has been a surge in mpox cases in Virginia. The state’s Department of Health reported 12 cases from January 1, with patients hailing from Central, Eastern, Northern, and Northwest health regions. Four patients required hospitalization, and six were co-infected with HIV. All of the patients had not previously been vaccinated against mpox.

The year 2023 also saw 12 reported cases of mpox in Virginia, all from the Northern Health region. It is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of mpox as they can be similar to those of the flu or other illnesses. These include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and a new rash that may be painful.

To prevent the spread of mpox through close physical contact, it is essential to take precautions such as wearing clothes that cover your skin and avoiding sharing personal items like towels or bedding with others who have been infected. If you have been in close contact with someone who has mpox or are experiencing symptoms yourself, it is recommended to monitor yourself for 21 days and consider getting vaccinated if necessary.

If you have been diagnosed with mpox or are experiencing symptoms associated with it, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider about getting tested even if you have already received a vaccine. Stay at home and avoid contact with others until your rash has healed completely to prevent further transmission of the virus. For more information on mpox and treatment options, you can reach out to the VDH call center at 877-VAX-IN-VA (877-829-4682) Monday through Friday from 8 am to 5 pm in various languages including English and Spanish. TTY users may dial 7-1-1 for assistance.

Sophia Reynolds

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