Monkeypox Virus (MPV) Update

Updated Friday, June 24

Vaccines are now available at the Chelsea Sexual Health Clinic (303 Ninth Avenue, Manhattan) for people who may have been recently exposed to Monkeypox (MPV), as well as men (ages 18 and older) who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days. Callen-Lorde does not have access to the vaccine.

The Chelsea Sexual Health MPV Vaccine Clinic is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Sunday, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Appointments are recommended, but a limited number of walk-ins will be accepted. If you are eligible to be vaccinated, you can make an appointment online.

If you are a Callen-Lorde patient and are experiencing symptoms as described below, please call (212) 271-7200 and ask to speak to Triage. Please do not come into the clinic before getting guidance by phone. If you live in NYC but are not a Callen-Lorde patient, contact the NYC Sexual Health Clinic Hotline at (347) 396-7959.

Beginning in early May, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been tracking several clusters of Monkeypox in countries that don’t typically have Monkeypox (MPV) activity, including in the UK and North America.

Although Monkeypox (MPV) can affect anyone regardless of sex, gender, or sexual orientation, recent clusters have disproportionately occurred in cis-men who have sex with men and some outbreaks have been linked to specific community events and locations (parties and bathhouses).  Despite this recent increase in cases, it is still considered a very rare infection and widespread transmission to the broader population is currently considered unlikely.

Current cases have all been mild or moderate with no deaths, which is reassuring, but numbers are still too small to get an accurate idea of severity. People with untreated HIV or who have low T cell counts or diagnosed with AIDS are possibly at increased risk for severe disease. Other high risk populations include the very young and old and pregnant people.

If you are a patient at Callen-Lorde and develop a fever and unexplained rash a few days to a few weeks after having sex, please call (212) 271-7200 to be screened by our Triage team for further evaluation. contact your healthcare provider. If you are not a patient at Callen-Lorde, you can call the NYC Sexual Health Clinic Hotline at (347) 396-7959.

What is Monkeypox (MPV)?

The Monkeypox Virus (MPV) is in the same family as smallpox. According to the CDC, the symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes.

The illness begins with: 

  • Fever 
  • Headache 
  • Muscle aches 
  • Backache 
  • Swollen lymph nodes 
  • Chills 
  • Exhaustion 

Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, a painful rash which can look like red raised bumps and fluid filled bumps/blisters develops. In the recent outbreak, it is often seen in the genital/groin area as well as in and around the anal area but can occur all over the body as well as on the palms of the hands and soles of feet. Some recent patients have also reported anal symptoms like bleeding, pain, and mucous.

How is Monkeypox (MPV) transmitted?

Monkeypox (MPV) is known to be transmitted between humans through skin-to-skin contact (especially when a rash or lesions are present) and through sharing of objects like bed linens and clothes.  It can also be spread through respiratory droplets. Respiratory droplets generally cannot travel more than a few feet, so prolonged, unmasked face-to-face contact is required. It is still unknown whether it can also be carried and transmitted in other bodily fluids such as semen.

Transmission can occur through large respiratory droplets and prolonged face-to-face contact or through contact with body fluids or items that have been contaminated with body fluids, like clothing or linens. Pus from monkeypox remains infectious on surfaces but can be killed with laundering or household detergents.

How is Monkeypox (MPV) treated?

In most cases, Monkeypox (MPV) will resolve on its own. 

For more information, check out this CDC Fact Sheet

What is the vaccine?

Eligible New Yorkers who may have been recently exposed to monkeypox can get the JYNNEOSTM vaccine. This vaccine has been approved by the FDA for the prevention of monkeypox in people ages 18 and older.

Getting vaccinated after a recent exposure reduces the chance of you getting monkeypox, and it can reduce symptoms if you do get it. You must take two doses of the vaccine, four weeks apart.

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