Maryland Health Department Monkeypox Update

In May 2022, a global outbreak of monkeypox–a rare viral disease caused by the monkeypox virus–was confirmed with a cluster of cases found in the United Kingdom. Since then, countries around the world have seen an uptick in monkeypox cases, including the United States. While monkeypox cases are increasing across the country, the general population is currently at low risk of contracting the disease, and the spread of monkeypox is different from the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic:

There is a vaccine for monkeypox and monkeypox can be treated with available antiviral medicines.
While COVID-19 passed easily from person to person, monkeypox does not spread as easily between people. Monkeypox transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids, or prolonged face-to-face contact.

To date, the federal government has allocated the Maryland Department of Health (MDH) a total of 3,363 doses of Jynneos Monkeypox vaccine and, as directed, is employing a hub and spoke distribution model. Accordingly, MDH has allocated 3,000 doses to local health departments, which are providing information on vaccine availability and vaccinating residents. MDH has retained 363 doses to provide to other jurisdictions as needed.

In the coming months, Maryland expects to receive additional vaccines from the federal government as they become available, according to the White House’s June 28 announcement. MDH does not have a specific timetable to share on that arrival at this time.

MDH continues to monitor this outbreak. Case counts in Maryland can be found on the CDC US Map tracker.

Human Monkeypox is a rare but serious illness spread through extended close contact. More information on symptoms, transmission and prevention can be found at health.maryland.gov/monkeypox.

Extensive contact tracing has been conducted by MDH and local health departments for all presumed cases. Individuals identified as having close contact with case patients have been offered vaccination through the local health department, in accordance with CDC recommendations.

CDC guidance outlines the eligibility criteria for a vaccine.