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Georgia health officials release guidelines to protect against monkeypox transmission

Certain precautions can be taken when in public settings, health officials said.

ATLANTA — Georgia currently ranks in the top 10 states for monkeypox cases in the U.S. with 749 cases, as of Tuesday evening. The Department of Public Health (DPH) released new guidelines on how to prevent the spread of infection.

As reported before, monkeypox spreads from close person-to-person contact through infectious rash, scabs or body fluids, and through respiratory secretions during prolonged intimate or sexual contact.

These are the ways the DPH recommends protecting yourself against monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox (can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.

    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.

  • Avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.

    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.

    • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels or clothing of a person with monkeypox.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially before eating or touching your face and after you use the bathroom.

It's important to remember that monkeypox is not transmitted like COVID and typically takes skin-to-skin or other close contact to transmit, health officials stated. Most non-healthcare settings where people congregate such as workplaces, schools, grocery stores, gas stations or public transportation are not considered high-risk settings for monkeypox transmission.

More than 90% of the people with monkeypox in the current outbreak have reported having close, sustained physical contact with others infected with the virus, according to the DPH statement.

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