Mpox Transmission in Public Settings

Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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NEWS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 9, 2022 Mpox Transmission in Public Settings How to Prevent Spread of Infection ATLANTA –The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) continues to closely monitor the current outbreak of mpox in the state. As of today, there are 625 confirmed mpox cases in Georgia. Testing and vaccination are available in health districts throughout the state; however, vaccine supplies from the federal government remain limited. The mpox virus can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex. More than 90% of the people with mpox in the current outbreak generally report having close, sustained physical contact with other people who have mpox. While many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has mpox can get the illness. Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids is another way mpox spreads but has not been identified to be a common mode of transmission in this outbreak or for mpox in general. The risk of contracting mpox is based on exposure – an individual must be exposed to enough virus to become infected. What is currently known about mpox transmission indicates that sharing bedding or towels with someone who is infected with mpox wouldcarrymore risk than passing encounters with money or a door handle or other environmental surfaces. Most settings where people congregate such as workplaces, schools, grocery stores, gas station, or public transportation are not considered high risk settings for mpox transmission. It is important to remember that mpox is not transmitted like COVID and typically takes skin-to-skin or other close contact to transmit. Unlike COVID or measles, this means far lower risk to persons that may be in a room with someone with mpox, but who do not have contact with the infected individual. There are things you can do to protect yourself from getting mpox:
  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like mpox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with mpox.
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with mpox has used.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with mpox.
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with mpox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.
For more information on mpox, visit https://dph.georgia.gov/monkeypox or https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.

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