More than half of TN monkeypox cases reported in one county

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – On Monday, the Biden administration is expected to make available an additional 1.8 million doses of the monkeypox vaccine for ordering. The decision comes after cases continue to rise across the country and in Tennessee.

The latest CDC data shows there are currently 41,358 cases worldwide, with Indonesia reporting its first case on Saturday. The United States has 14,115 cases, according to the CDC.

The Tennessee Department of Health reports there are 107 cases of monkeypox in the Volunteer State as of Thursday. Last week, Davidson County reported 53 cases, which is half the state’s case count.

Data provided by the Tennessee Department of Health shows that most cases in Tennessee are seen in men and African Americans. As of August 18, men accounted for 94% of the number of cases and African Americans accounted for 51% of the number of cases.

The CDC says the virus is spread primarily through close, intimate contact with someone who already has the virus. Although the disease is commonly known for the lesions it leaves on the skin, the CDC says signs of an infection can start with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion before a rash or lesion develops.

Earlier this month, a total of 5,762 vaccine doses were shipped to Tennessee. As of Aug. 19, the voluntary state had received a total of 10,762 doses of the vaccine, according to the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.

Currently, health officials are only administering the vaccine to people who qualify and are considered most “at risk.”

The CDC says those most likely to be classified as eligible to receive the vaccine are:

  • People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox
  • People who know that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox
  • People who have had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks in an area where monkeypox is known
  • Laboratory workers performing tests for orthopoxviruses
  • Laboratory workers who handle orthopoxvirus-carrying cultures or animals

An updated case count for Davidson County is expected to be released by the Metro Public Health Department on Thursday, August 25.


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