Bluegrass Care Clinic Monkeypox Information for Patients
The criteria to receive a monkeypox vaccine are:
- Anyone who reports any of the following:
- Close contact to someone with known or suspected monkeypox virus (direct skin-to-skin contact or other close contact)
- Diagnosis of HIV
- Diagnosis of chlamydia, gonorrhea, or early syphilis, within the prior 12 months.
- Receiving medications to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)
- Exchanging sex for money or nonmonetary items
- Attending an event/venue where there was a high risk of exposure to an individual(s) with monkeypox virus through skin-to-skin or sexual contact.
- Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, or transgender people who are sexually active
- Laboratory workers who routinely perform monkeypox or orthopox virus testing
- Healthcare professionals who have had high-risk occupational exposure without using recommended personal protective equipment in the past 14 days
- Individuals who, on a case-by-case basis, are determined at high risk for contracting monkeypox
If you meet any of the above criteria and are a patient at the Bluegrass Care Clinic, please call 859-323-5544, option 4. We will do our best to accommodate vaccine requests based on availability.
The Lexington Fayette County Health Department may be offering monkeypox vaccines to certain high-risk populations. Please call 859-899-2222 or visit https://www.lfchd.org/monkeypox/ to inquire about availability. You may also contact your local health department.
If you have any new lesions, sores, or rashes, contact your primary care provider to get tested. If your primary care provider or infectious disease provider is at the Bluegrass Care Clinic, call us at 859-323-5544, option 4 for testing information.
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by a virus that is related to smallpox, but far less deadly. The main symptoms are a rash, which is seen in all who are affected, and sometimes fevers, chills, and aches.
Starting in May 2022, cases were reported in countries where monkeypox had not been seen before, raising the alarm to the global community. To date, cases have been reported in almost every state of our country and are growing in number. Monkeypox is spread through close, intimate contact with others who have the infection through prolonged face-to-face contact (e.g. kissing), direct contact with the rash, or through contact with items like clothes and linens that were exposed to the rash.
A rash or sores may appear anywhere on the body, but are most common on or near the hands, genitals, anus, and face. They are considered infectious from the time people feel symptoms until the rash heals completely with a fresh layer of skin. On average, this takes 2-4 weeks. To date, the majority of cases have been reported in gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). However, monkeypox can affect anyone.
What to Do if You Have Symptoms
If you have any new lesions, or feel fevers, chills, and have new spots anywhere on your body, contact your primary care provider to get tested. It takes 3-5 days to get the results. While awaiting your results, please follow the Kentucky Department of Public Health isolation guidelines. The Bluegrass Care Clinic has access to this test and it takes just a few minutes to perform.
How to Prevent Monkeypox
Until the CDC makes the vaccine available for all who need it, we are advising the community to stay vigilant, especially for men who have sex with men: discuss monkeypox openly with partners, ask about any new rashes or sores, and consider the greatly elevated risk when engaging in group or anonymous sexual encounters. Stay informed about symptoms and follow guidelines for testing and isolation if you have any new rashes or sores on your body.