ALBANY, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – The New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH) released an update today on their strategic response to the current monkeypox outbreak in New York State.

According to the department of health monkeypox is a rare, viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness, however it can result in hospitalization and death.

According to the NYSDOH symptoms of monkeypox 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

Monkeypox does not usually pop up in New York, so the health department is carefully monitoring all current cases.

The NYSDOH released vaccine eligibility for the initial doses of the monkeypox fighting JYNNEOS vaccine from the federal government and is prioritizing communities with the highest level of need. There is currently a limited supply of the vaccine but more is expected in the weeks and months ahead.

Vaccines have been distributed to New York City, Suffolk County, Westchester County, Nassau County, and Saratoga County, with small doses also distributed to Rockland and Sullivan counties.

Anyone can get monkeypox as it is primarily spread through close, physical contact. Those with weakened immune systems, the elderly, pregnant woman, and those under the age of 8 are at heightened risk for severe outcomes.

The NYSDOH says, “New Yorkers should not be alarmed, but everyone should stay informed about monkeypox. This means understanding the symptoms, how it spreads, and what to do if you are exposed.”

You can learn more about monkeypox and how to stay protected here.