Health Headlines: Slowing the spread of Monkeypox

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Published: Sep. 5, 2022 at 6:33 AM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Monkeypox is an unfamiliar virus that’s spreading everywhere, prompting the US Department of Health and Human Services to declare a public health emergency. While the CDC cautions gay and bisexual men that they may be at the highest risk, other health experts say everyone, including children, should be following sets to avoid the spread.

The 2022 Monkeypox outbreak started with a cluster in the United Kingdom on May 6. And just two weeks later, the first case was reported in the United States.

Now, Monkeypox has been reported in every single state.

Dr. David Winter with Baylor Scott and White Health says, “The concern is how do we stop it? There’s a vaccine out there that does work, but in very short supply, hard to come by.”

But once you get it, how do you treat it?

“There’s an antiviral pill that also helps, T-POX, also in hard in short supply right now, hard to come by,” says Dr. Winter.

T-POX is currently classified as an investigational drug for Monkeypox. It was initially created in case of a bio-terrorist smallpox attack. People who have taken a two-week course of the antiviral pills say they felt better within two days. But the government warns they only have 1.7 million courses in the national stockpile.

Dr. Winter explains, “T-POXX is a medication that stops the replication, stops a duplication of the virus in your body. So, it’s very effective. If you can get one.”

Because Monkeypox and Smallpox have similar symptoms, Tembexa is another FDA-approved anti-viral that was first approved to treat Smallpox. And experts fear that as kids head back to school, the spread will only get worse.

“I think we should teach the kids that no more hugging, no high fiving, no wrestling on the school grounds right now, because that’s the way you can spread this particular disease,” says Dr. Winter.

Experts say prevention really is the best way to handle Monkeypox. And right now, that means avoiding skin-to-skin contact.

It’s important to note that the US Food and Drug Administration has not approved any therapies specifically for the treatment of Monkeypox.