SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The CDC said there have been a total of 202 confirmed Monkeypox cases in the state of Massachusetts, but what are we seeing locally? 22News checked in with area health experts to find out where western Massachusetts stands.
Doctor Amanda Westlake said they are actually only seeing a handful of cases locally, fewer than ten. Which she said can be best explained with how it spreads.
Monkeypox tends to spread through sexual networks, so it’s mostly geographically localized. One key way Monkeypox is different from COVID in that Monkeypox really only spreads through skin on skin contact and particularly through sex.
Doctor Westlake said Baystate has been able to meet patients who are requesting the vaccine and provide the vaccine to use up the current supply. Soon, Baystate is going to be receiving another shipment from the state. However supply is not widely available, because it’s not commercially made.
Doctor Amanda Westlake Infectious Disease Doctor, Baystate Medical Center, “Because the supply is so limited, public health agencies are trying to direct the vaccine toward the people who are at highest risk.
The outbreak has disproportionately impacted men who have sex with men,” said Doctor Amanda Westlake Infectious Disease Doctor at Baystate Medical Center.
Massachusetts Department of Public Health said nearly 6,000 doses have been given out since August 3rd
and the Federal Government said it shipped more than 16,000 doses to the state as of Monday.
Baystate offers vaccines through their Brightwood Health Center as well as Tapestry Health.