Monkeypox vaccines trickle into Hudson Valley as testing begins nationwide

Westchester County officials say they expect to receive several hundred doses of the vaccine and they already have a plan in place to help people who have contracted or been exposed to the virus.

News 12 Staff

Jul 7, 2022, 10:42 AM

Updated 688 days ago

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Health officials across the Hudson Valley are keeping a close watch on the uptick in cases of the monkeypox virus as doses of vaccines are beginning to arrive in the region.
State health officials say there is now 128 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state, including six cases in the Hudson Valley.
Here is where the cases have been identified:
• 119 in New York City
• 5 in Westchester County
• 1 in Rockland County
• 1 in Sullivan County
• 1 in Chemung County
• 1 in Suffolk County
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Westchester County officials say the five infected people in Westchester are all recovering. They say they expect to receive several hundred doses of the vaccine and they already have a plan in place to help people who have contracted or been exposed to the virus. Rockland County has already received 40 doses.
"The amount of doses we have initially, will go through medical facilities, hospitals, the neighborhood health centers, to try and reach people who have been affected by it. The state has not yet indicated they have enough vaccine to have general vaccination available. And they’re indicating to us that is not necessary for us to have general population vaccination," says Westchester County Executive George Latimer.
Testing for monkeypox has been a bit slow in the U.S., but that's changing. The Centers for Disease Control announced Wednesday that LabCorp has begun testing for monkeypox using the CDC's orthopoxvirus test.
The CDC says that the test, which can detect all non-smallpox-related orthopoxviruses, including monkeypox, will double the nationwide testing capacity of the virus.
The public will not be able to go to a LabCorp lab and submit a specimen, but any health care provider across the U.S. can order the test from LabCorp as they would order any other test.
LabCorp says it will be able to accept specimens from anywhere in the country and expects to have the capacity to perform up to 10,000 tests per week.
The CDC says anyone with a rash that that looks like monkeypox should talk to their health care provider about whether they need to get tested - even if they think they weren't exposed.
Officials say monkeypox is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness. However, it can result in hospitalization or death. They say monkeypox spreads through close, physical contact between people.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
• Rashes, bumps, or blisters on or around the genitals or in other areas like your hands, feet, chest or face.
• Flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills, and fatigue. These symptoms may occur before or after the rash appears, or not at all.


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