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HomeLifestyleHealthDC Ranks First in Number of Monkeypox Cases Per Capita in US

DC Ranks First in Number of Monkeypox Cases Per Capita in US

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Washington DC has reported the most monkeypox cases per capita in the country, according to officials.

The number of confirmed monkeypox cases in the District hit 122 as of Monday, July 18, since the virus first surfaced in the US in May. No deaths have occurred so far in connection with the disease.

This means one case per 6,500 residents, which is the highest number of cases per the population of any US state. DC is followed by New York, Illinois, and California.

DC Health officials confirmed the first positive Orthopoxvirus case on June 4. The District resident who was diagnosed with the disease had reportedly had a recent trip to Europe. (Monkeypox is known to belong to the Orthopox family of viruses.)

“We are specifically working with reaching out to members of the LGBTQ+ community, specifically gay and bisexual men, because those are the communities most affected by the virus at this moment,” DC Mayor Muriel Bowser said in a statement.

DC Health Director LaQuandra Nesbitt emphasized the importance of getting vaccinated against monkeypox for anyone who has been in contact with a person diagnosed with the disease.

Despite the fact that most cases occur in individuals who identify as LGBTQ+, anyone can contract monkeypox, Nesbitt noted.

“Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness that can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids,” according to DC Health.

DC launched a pre-registration portal last week for residents to schedule appointments for monkeypox vaccinations.

Eligibility criteria to receive the monkeypox vaccine in DC is as follows:

  • You must be a District resident, 18 years or older, and:
  • Gay, bisexual, or other man who has sex with men and has had multiple or any anonymous sexual partners in the last 14 days; or
  • Transgender woman or nonbinary person assigned male at birth who has sex with men; or
  • Sex worker (of any sexual orientation/gender); or
  • Staff (of any sexual orientation/gender) at establishments where sexual activity occurs (e.g., bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs)

The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to those of flu and include fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes along with a rash and lesions on the skin.

DC Residents Can Now Pre-Register for Monkeypox Vaccination 

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