State prepares for Monkeypox outbreak in Louisiana

Published: Jul. 22, 2022 at 7:25 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - The CDC reports more than 1,900 cases of Monkeypox reaching nearly every state. In Louisiana-- the department of health confirmed 17 cases and health officials expect to see more. The good news is that testing is getting easier.

“Before this week, samples could only really be sent to our state lab in Baton Rouge, the office of public health lab. Now they can be sent to a number of normal labs,” said Dr. Joseph Kanter with The Louisiana Department of Health.

Dr. Vincent Shaw, a doctor with Baton Rouge General, says some symptoms are more noticeable than others.

“The symptoms that most people will get are going to be a rash or what they call a pox-like rash, which are going to be blisters or little, small pimples in addition to that they’re going to have some flu-like illness symptoms such as fever, cough, body aches, muscle aches in addition to a swelling of lymph nodes,” said Dr. Vincent Shaw, Baton Rouge General Physician.

There are only 1,000 doses of the vaccine in the state, health officials are only giving them to folks who are high-risk or those who have been exposed.

Although doctors are encouraging you to be cautious, they say that this virus is not the next COVID.

“I think everyone is a little bit on edge because of COVID and the fatigue with COVID but we just must make it clear that this is not Ebola, this is not expected to become a massive disruptive pandemic,” Dr. Joseph Kanter, LDH

Monkeypox is not deadly and usually takes about two weeks to heal. If you think you have contracted the virus, medical professionals advise you to contact your doctor and isolate for a few days.

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