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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Release Date: August 05, 2022

Contact: William Malm     737-262-9633     Email

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Release Date: August 05, 2022

Contact: William Malm     737-262-9633     Email

Gatherings in close quarters come with a higher risk of spreading viruses in the community, such as monkeypox

AUSTIN, Texas – As Austin-Travis County moves into the busy holiday season, Austin Public Health (APH) is monitoring dozens of suspected and confirmed cases of monkeypox in our community. Following the recommended guidelines will help reduce the spread of monkeypox and allow for safe celebrations.

Anyone taking part in events such as raves, parties and festivals can protect themselves and others by:

“Covering as much of your skin as possible and wearing masks that fit well are tools that everyone can use to reduce the spread of monkeypox,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes, Austin-Travis County Health Authority. “Remember monkeypox affects everyone regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”

Although the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine is in limited supply nationwide, people will need to follow the hygiene guidelines listed above to remain protected.

When a vaccine is provided by the state, it is required to follow the criteria of the Texas Department of State Health Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As needed, APH evaluates those with high-risk close contacts of monkeypox outbreaks to see if they are eligible for vaccination.

Only those who had a sexual partner in the last 14 days diagnosed with monkeypox or those who had multiple sexual partners in the last 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox are eligible for the vaccine at this time.

“While we wait for more vaccines from the state, staying informed and practicing prevention are the best ways to protect yourself from monkeypox,” said Austin Public Health Director Adrienne Sturrup. “Follow the lessons we’ve learned from COVID-19 to enjoy these celebrations safely.”

As of Thursday, August 4, Austin-Travis County has 9 confirmed suspected monkeypox cases and 46 suspected cases. Those numbers are updated weekly online.

Anyone who believes they have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox should reach out to their healthcare provider. Those who do not have access to health care can call the APH Equity Line at 512-972-5560 for information.

APH and Central Health, along with community partners, are hosting a virtual monkeypox roundtable for the community on Friday, August 5, from 12-1 p.m.

The conversation will include a number of local doctors and health experts who will give a current situational update on monkeypox and discuss prevention methods, professional experiences and the availability and applicability of vaccines. Local advocates will also take part in the discussion.


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