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Monkeypox and polio, how concerned should we be in the Finger Lakes?

  • / Updated:
  • Ted Baker 

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), there have been 3,402 confirmed cases of monkeypox in New York.

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

How concerned should Finger Lakes residents be about the outbreak? Christine Pullen with the Ontario County Public Health Department says the virus is related to the smallpox virus. She says it’s not as serious, but it can lead to a painful rash.

According to the CDC:

People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus (butthole) and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.

  • The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
  • The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Headache
  • Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)

You may experience all or only a few symptoms

  • Sometimes, people have flu-like symptoms before the rash.
  • Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms.
  • Others only experience a rash.

Related: New York reports its first juvenile monkeypox case

Polio found in Rockland County

There was also a case of polio diagnosed this summer in Rockland County. Pullen says the victim had received the less effective oral vaccine, which is no longer given in the US. What should you know to stay safe?

There is a fear of community spread in Rockland County, due to its low polio vaccination rate.

Listen to my full Inside the FLX conversation with Christine Pullen and Kate Ott with the Ontario County Health Department below.

Related: Seneca County confirms second case of monkeypox