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McMahon says Onondaga's first monkeypox case not a major public threat

 Public Health Spokesperson Stacey Fontana and County Executive Ryan McMahon holding a press conference, Aug. 10, 2022.
John Smith
/
WAER News
Public Health Spokesperson Stacey Fontana and County Executive Ryan McMahon holding a press conference, Aug. 10, 2022.

Health officials are responding to the area's first reported case of monkeypox. Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said those potentially exposed have already been identified.

"The patient went through contact tracing. All individuals who had close contact with the individual have been contacted and have been isolated. It is, at this point, not a threat to the public at large," McMahon said at a news conference shortly after officials confirmed the county's first instance of the disease on Wednesday.

The illness has largely afflicted the LGBTQ+ community. Cases in the state have been reported predominately in New York City, where nearly 2,000 of the state's 2,132 cases have occurred.

The announcement of the first local case fell on the same day as the county health department's was hosting its first monkeypox vaccine clinic. The county received 600 doses for those who signed up and felt they are at risk. It’s administered in two doses and will result in 300 eligible residents getting vaccinated. The health department said all of their appointment slots for the latest clinic were filled.

Public Health Spokesperson Stacey Fontana said there will continue to be eligibility requirements in order to get the vaccine.

"You have to be 18 and older. You have to have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days, and you have to fall into the group at this point, of being gay, bisexual, men that have sex with men, transgender, gender [non]conforming, gender nonbinary. So that's all in the information we gave you. Anybody can get monkeypox, but at this point, this is the population we're seeing it in," Fontana said.

The county is keeping to a strict eligibility policy due to a very limited supply.