Monkeypox Information & Resources

The first case of monkeypox in Arkansas was identified in July 2022. Pat Walker Health Center can perform a specimen collection from lesions to send through Quest for a monkeypox virus test to determine if a patient is infected with the virus. Test results take 2-3 days to come back. Washington County Health Unit also offers testing in our area. 

Pat Walker Health Center has a limited supply of the Monkeypox vaccine and it will only be administered with an order from a provider. If you are already established with a provider at PWHC, please contact that provider/nurse team lead. If you have not established care with a provider at PWHC, please schedule an appointment with a provider for further evaluation.

Transmission 

  • Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including: 
    • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. 
    • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox. 
  • Monkeypox is NOT spread through casual, brief conversations or walking by someone with monkeypox, like at a grocery store. 

See the CDC information on how monkeypox spreads. 

Signs & Symptoms 

Initial Symptoms of monkeypox can include: 

  • Fever 
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
  • A rash that may be located on or near the hands, feet, chest, face, mouth, the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus.
    • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
    • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
    • Rash develops in over 90% of cases/infections 

You may experience all or only a few symptoms. 

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash. 

How long do monkeypox symptoms last? 

Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash 1-4 days later. 

Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed, all scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks.

See the CDC information with photos.  

Treatment 

Pre and post exposure vaccination and anti-viral medications are currently being facilitated through the Arkansas Department of Health in conjunction with our local health units for HIGH-RISK GROUPS. These options are currently in limited supply and only being used in select populations and in groups where outbreaks have been identified.

Pat Walker Health Center has a limited supply of the Monkeypox vaccine and it will only be administered with an order from a provider. If you are already established with a provider at PWHC, please contact that provider/nurse team lead. If you have not established care with a provider at PWHC, please schedule an appointment with a provider for further evaluation.

  • The Jynneos Vaccine is a 2-dose series given 4 weeks/28 days apart. It is a weakened live virus that will be given 0.1 mg intradermally on the inner aspect of the patient’s forearm.
  • Patients will NOT be able to schedule online due to a provider/nurse team lead needing to screen to see if you meet criteria. 

The ADH's criteria for pre-exposure vaccination (PrEP):

  • Men who have sex with men who:
    • Have had multiple sex partners within the past year, OR
    • Engage in anonymous or group sex, including with those contacted online or through apps OR
    • Engage in sex at venues or events, OR
    • Are living with HIV
  • Anyone, including women, who has a partner that meets the criteria above.
  • Anyone diagnosed with any sexually transmitted infection (STI) in the last month.
  • Anyone who has had skin-to-skin contact with someone known or suspected to have monkeypox within the last 14 days.
  • Anyone whose medical provider recommends they get the JYNNEOS vaccine.

The CDC currently recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed (PEP++)  to a known monkeypox case and those deemed to be at increased risk to contract monkeypox. Current vaccination criteria is:  

  • High-risk exposure (close/intimate contact) to someone with known or probable monkeypox within last 14 days 
  • High-risk encounter (sex, very close contact) in a setting/event where monkeypox reported to be spread, even if person doesn’t have a known exposure

Pat Walker Health Center is in coordination with the Arkansas Department of Health regarding vaccinations.

Monkeypox call-line: 1-800-803-7847

Things you can do to protect yourself from getting monkeypox:  

  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox. 
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox. 
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox. 
  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used. 
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox. 
    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox. 
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.