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DHSS Press Release

Molly Magarik, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498
Email: Jill.Fredel@delaware.gov

DPH Media Contact:
Tim Turane
Email: DPHMedia@Delaware.gov

Date: September 1, 2022


DOVER, DE (Sept. 1, 2022) - The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing several Monkypox virus (MPX) updates including the launch of a Public Health Alert web portal providing access to an updated monkeypox web page. The website, which can be found at de.gov/PublicHealthAlerts, was created by the Department of State's Government Information Center and is a central landing page from which to access individual web pages for COVID-19, MPX and flu. It is intended to highlight public health issues of elevated concern at the time.

The updated MPX page, which can still be found at de.gov/monkeypox, provides information on the disease in a more user-friendly format. (COVID-19 information can also continue to be found at de.gov/coronavirus, and flu information at flu.delaware.gov). The updated MPX site includes a separate section for medical providers seeking information and highlights the most current data related to cases. Delaware now has 25 total MPX cases in the state, which remains low compared to neighboring states which have hundreds. DPH will no longer issue press releases solely for case updates, as the data will be more frequently updated on the webpage. Delaware is taking action to continue to ensure the most at-risk persons are vaccinated against the virus.

Starting Sept. 5, DPH will expand access to the MPX vaccine to those who are immunocompromised. Conditions may include, but are not necessarily limited to: those with cancer, solid organ or stem cell transplants, those taking immunosuppressive therapy, and individuals with autoimmune disease.

Additionally, DPH is pleased to announce that starting today, Newark Urgent Care began administering MPX vaccine to eligible individuals. Vaccination is available by appointment only; visit NewarkUrgentCare.org to view eligibility requirements and schedule an appointment. Vaccine clinics will be held on Thursdays and there is no cost for the vaccine.

Eligible persons also can be vaccinated at the following locations:

Vaccines are available to those confirmed to have been exposed, or who are at higher risk of being exposed to the virus, as well as the immunocompromised, and those engaging in high-risk activities, including sexual practices, that increase exposure to MPX, such as:

Individuals should be aware that the vaccine, a two-dose series given 28 days apart, is not considered effective until two weeks after the second dose. Those at higher risk should continue to use preventive measures and reduce engaging in any high-risk behaviors until that time.

Signs and Symptoms The symptoms of MPX are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus. Most people who contract MPX will develop a rash, and some will develop flu-like symptoms beforehand. The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they usually will develop a rash one to four days later.

If you suspect you are experiencing any symptoms associated with MPX you should immediately:

Currently, while there is no specific treatment for MPX, antivirals can be prescribed, though they are not always needed. To learn more information about monkeypox, please visit de.gov/monkeypox. DPH began posting MPX case and vaccine data on the website last week.

DPH launched a hotline for individuals with questions or concerns about MPX. The hotline number is 866-408-1899 and is operational Monday - Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (It will be closed this Monday because of the Labor Day holiday.) Questions may also be emailed to DPHCall@delaware.gov. Both the hotline number and email address share staff with the COVID-19 Call Center. To learn more about MPX prevention programs and resources, visit de.gov/monkeypox.

The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH), a division of the Delaware Department of Health and Social Services, is a nationally accredited public health agency recognized by the Public Health Accreditation Board for its outstanding dedication to driving change through innovation. DPH is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations. Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind, or speech-disabled can contact DPH by first dialing 711 using specialized devices (i.e., TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free; to learn more about how it works, visit delawarerelay.com.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.