As the number of monkeypox cases continues to rise in North Carolina, UNC continues its investigation and is taking steps to flatten the curve.
UNC is one of three academic medical centers conducting monkeypox testing in the United States. According to Media Relations, Campus Health has identified symptoms and is ready to test if clinically indicated.
Campus Health has been approved by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services as a provider of the monkeypox vaccine, but has not yet received the vaccine due to the availability of the supply chain, according to media relations.
Dr. David Wohl, a “think tank” and professor of medicine at the UNC Division of Infectious Diseases, a medical epicenter, believes universities must look beyond immediate threats to the big picture. Wohl is well versed in epidemic crises and has researched cures for Ebola and other diseases around the world.
“I know we are reacting to monkeypox, but what is the next big thing that could happen? Where is it coming from? What can we do now for you?” Dr. Wall asks.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox was first identified in primates in 1958 and is endemic to western and central Africa, said Dr. David Weber, professor of medicine, pediatrics and epidemiology at UNC.
Myron Cohen, Ph.D., professor of medicine, microbiology, immunology and epidemiology at UNC, said previously that the disease was mainly observed sporadically and may have been transmitted primarily from animals to humans. I’m here.
Cohen said the virus is spread through close physical interactions with infected individuals.
“You can get it through sex, but it’s not sex that gives it to you — it’s skin-to-skin contact,” Dr. Weber said.
Concerns have also been raised about transmission through inanimate objects and air, but there is not enough evidence to support this, Cohen said.
“CDC says, ‘We don’t really understand the rules.’ UNC Hospitals says, ‘We don’t really understand the rules,'” Dr. Cohen said. Many precautions have been taken to prevent further spread of the infection, and among those precautions are attempts to avoid contamination of inanimate objects with monkeypox. ”
According to the CDC, 99% of reported monkeypox cases in the United States are men, and 94% of them report recent sexual or intimate contact between men just prior to the onset of symptoms. But Dr. Wohl said he is confident that other populations will begin to see the spread.
“I think it’s foolish and parochial to think that this will only be seen between men who have sex with men.”
“This means that cis women are transmitted from men. This means that some women can infect other women. This means athletes can infect each other.” We need the right route for the virus to find the route of human-to-human transmission.”
Symptoms can be seen within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus and include fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, clear or pus-filled bumps or rashes.
Dr. Weber said Campus Health faculty are helping conduct an upcoming national clinical trial of Tecovirimat, a treatment for the monkeypox virus.
Vaccines are now available for people with known or suspected monkeypox exposure, and for transgender individuals who have sex with men, or who have a history of multiple or anonymous sex partners. Certain health care workers designated by public health authorities are also covered.
Anyone who meets any of the above eligibility criteria may call 919-560-9217 to request an immunization at the Durham County Public Health Department.
“We have a lot of tools at our disposal, ready to recognize and deal with infections,” said Dr. Cohen. “We don’t expect this to become common among college students. .”
Campus Health has also put together a monkeypox FAQ with additional information about the virus.
Health officials and researchers have advocated paying more attention to these sources of infection than to consequential “spillovers” such as Ebola and monkeypox, Dr. Wall said.
“If more people were protected from monkeypox, then the events like this, where monkeypox started to spread all over the world and cause all this trouble, would never happen.” I think we should recognize that we have a global responsibility.”
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