Monkeypox spreading across Alabama as case count grows; health officials getting calls from people seeking vaccine


BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Alabama now has more than 15 cases of the Monkeypox virus and we know of at least one that has been in Jefferson County.

Jefferson County Health officials said anyone can catch Monkeypox, but doctors believe it’s mainly spread through close contact with an infected person.

The second case in Alabama was in Jefferson County, with the first being in Mobile County. ADPH has not shared where the other cases are from, but county health officials are already working to vaccinate those who are at high risk.

“We are getting a lot of calls already from people who are concerned and want to be vaccinated,” Jefferson County Health Officer Dr. Mark Wilson said.

With more than a dozen cases of Monkeypox now in the state, Jefferson County health officials are working to protect those who are at high risk.

“We are starting to get some vaccine, not very much,” Wilson said. “We are getting a little bit of vaccine and right now we are having to use that vaccine to prioritize the people who are close contacts from someone who actually had it, or someone we think is very very high risk.”

According to the World Health Organization, the majority of the cases are among gay men and they are encouraging reducing partners. Wilson said it’s spread when people come in close skin contact or by bodily fluids.

“Pretty little bumps deep into the skin,” Wilson said. “Almost like a pimple that then proceeds to be a blister, very well rounded. Almost a perfect circle, usually the size of a green pea.”

Alabama got around 200 doses of Monkeypox vaccine two weeks ago, so Wilson said they will upgrade vaccinations to everyone once more supply becomes available nationwide.

“We are not ready to start vaccinating a lot of people at this point,” he said. “We want to, but we aren’t ready to because we simply don’t have the supply yet.”

The CDC said there are nearly five thousand cases across the US and Dr. Wilson said if you think you came in contact with someone infected, doctors here in the state have gotten guidance from ADPH on how to test you and then the state will begin contact tracing.

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