WASHINGTON (7News) — Monkeypox cases in the District are rising.
As of Tuesday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is reporting 53 cases of the virus in D.C.
To combat growing case counts, D.C. Health has opened up two monkeypox vaccine sites in Northwest, by appointment only. Since health officials began offering appointments, they fill up in a matter of minutes.
Officials tweeted Tuesday saying, "All monkeypox vaccine appointments have been scheduled."
To be considered eligible for the monkeypox vaccination, persons must be a District resident, 18 years of age or older and:
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Elsewhere in the DMV, Virginia has 13 cases of the virus and Maryland is seeing nine. The Biden Administration said they are working to make more monkeypox tests and vaccines available nationwide.
Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness that can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with bodily fluids or monkeypox lesions/rash. Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact between people, including respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact, during intimate physical contact like sex, kissing, or hugging, as well as touching fabrics and objects during sex that were used by a person with monkeypox, such as bedding and towels.
The initial symptoms of monkeypox often include flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes, followed by a rash and lesions on the skin. Although the majority of cases do not require hospitalization, monkeypox is dangerous, highly contagious, and uncomfortable.
If you are displaying symptoms of monkeypox or would like to get tested for orthopoxvirus, the parent virus of monkeypox, please visit your healthcare provider or a local wellness clinic.
For additional appointment availability in D.C., go here. Monkeypox vaccinations are free, based on availability.