Dr. Jayne Middlebrooks Morgan Talks to Us About The Monkeypox Virus and Our Community
The COVID19 Pandemic exacerbated the health concerns in our community. For some, it was the first time they became aware of health disparities between the general and African American populations. A new challenge has come to town, so to speak, with the spread of the Monkey Pox virus. This disease is explained as one that mainly impacts the gay community and is passed through sexual relations. The last time a disease was said to be confined to the men in the gay community, we know what happened. HIV/AIDS is an epidemic in our community, especially in metro Atlanta. As of August 10th, there are 625 confirmed monkeypox cases in Georgia. I reached out to Dr. Jayne Middlebrooks Morgan, the Executive Director of the COVID19 Task Force for the Piedmont Healthcare Corporation of Georgia. I asked her to speak with us about this new virus.
Starting with the basics, Morgan shares that the symptoms of Monkey Pox are fever, chills, and flu-like symptoms, including swollen lymph nodes. The legions occur after about two weeks. If you have symptoms, you should seek testing and isolate for 2-4 weeks until the scabs have healed. You should monitor your symptoms for 21 days.
Morgan also explains that if you have had chickenpox, this provides no protection against monkeypox. This orthopox virus is associated with smallpox and cowpox. Older Americans vaccinated before 1972 may have some resistance.
This disease is spread mainly through close body contact, often via sex. One way to protect yourself is to limit your sexual partners. Do not share bed linens or towels.
In Georgia, black men make up 82% of the cases.
I ask about the COVID19 virus in our state. Morgan says that in our state, there are close to 400 death due to COVID-19 every day. She explains that “we are holding our breath in the scientific community.”
Dr. Morgan produces the #StairwellChronicles, a short commentary about health in our community.
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