Mayor Brian Arrigo and the Revere Department of Public Health this week provided an update on monkeypox in Revere. Since June, Revere has reported six cases of monkeypox. As of August 17, 2022, the Commonwealth has confirmed 228 cases of monkeypox.
The Revere Department of Public Health has provided guidance to diagnosed residents and has been in communication with close contacts regarding safest practices and quarantine. Although monkeypox is commonly not deadly, symptoms can be very uncomfortable for those diagnosed. Monkeypox is a different disease than COVID-19; therefore, transmission patterns are different. Monkeypox is typically spread through intimate contact with lesions (skin-to-skin contact) or through secondary surfaces (shared clothing, bedding and towels). Anyone can get monkeypox, regardless of sexual orientation, and it is not currently categorized as a sexually transmitted infection. Symptoms can include fever, headache, chills, rash and/or lesions, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. If you are worried that you have been exposed or might have monkeypox, you should contact your healthcare provider as soon as possible.
Going into the school year, it is important for residents with children to be mindful of monkeypox symptoms and transmission patterns. Parents should be aware of how monkeypox is transmitted – through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, such as close dancing, sharing towels or clothes, and bedding. Contact sports at this time are still considered low risk, and signs and symptoms of monkeypox in children are the same as in adults. Children at risk of severe disease are those under eight, those with immunocompromising conditions and those with conditions that lead to breaks in the skin (psoriasis, eczema, chickenpox, burns and cold sores). If you are worried about your child going into the school year, their health care provider is the best resource to learn about individual risk.
Vaccines in Massachusetts are available to those eligible and are not yet available to the general public. Those eligible, according to Mass.gov, are:
- Known contacts identified by public health via case investigation, contact tracing and risk exposure assessments (this mighty include sexual partners, household contacts, and healthcare workers); as well as
- Presumed contacts who meet the following criteria: 1) know that a sexual partner in the past 14 days was diagnosed with monkeypox; 2) had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox.
There are locations in Revere and surrounding communities providing the JYNNEOS vaccine and administering testing for those eligible. They are all by appointment only:
- Health Innovations (Revere and Chelsea): Please call 339-987-1956 to make an appointment ahead of time.
- Fenway Health (Boston): Appointments can be made by calling 617-927-6060 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Massachusetts General Hospital Sexual Health Clinic (Boston): Appointments can be made by calling 617-724-7000 Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.
- Boston Medical Center (Boston): Register for an appointment directly at www.bmc.org/Monkeypox. Appointments can be made by calling 617-414-2803 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- Cambridge Health Alliance (Cambridge/Somerville): Appointments can be made by registering here: https://home.color.com/vaccine/register/metronorthmobile or by calling 781-338-0104 Monday through Friday between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.
- East Boston Neighborhood Health Center (Boston): Appointments can be made by calling 617-568-4500 Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. This site also offers vaccine appointments on Saturdays between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
The Revere Department of Public Health will continue to monitor the spread of monkeypox in the City of Revere and will provide updates as they arise. If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the department by calling 781-485-8486.