The Louisiana Department of Health Office of Public Health Region 9 (Northshore) has monkeypox vaccines available in the parish health units (PHUs).
As of Sept. 14, Louisiana has reported 217 cases of monkeypox in Louisiana residents since the start of the monkeypox outbreak in the US in 2022. 11 cases have been reported in the Northshore region so far.
“The most effective public health action that people at risk can take to protect themselves from monkeypox is vaccination,” said Region 9 medical director Dr. Gina Lagarde. “Monkeypox vaccine is available in our parish health units. Just call to make an appointment.”
Those who qualify for the vaccine are encouraged to make an appointment at one of the following locations by calling the PHU phone number below or by calling 211:
- Tangipahoa Parish Health Unit, 15481 W. Club Deluxe Road, Hammond, 985-543-4165
- Livingston Parish Health Unit, 20399 Government Blvd., Livingston, 225-686-7017
- Washington Parish Health Unit, 626 Carolina Ave. Bogalusa, 985-732-6615
As of August 31, 2022, the comprehensive vaccination criteria include people in Louisiana who meet one of the following:
- Gay/bisexual men or transgender people who are sexually active with more than one partner
- Anyone at high risk of monkeypox exposure. This includes, but is not limited to, people who:
- Being HIV positive or receiving drugs to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)
- Experienced homelessness
- Use IV drugs
- Give or receive money or other goods in exchange for sex
- Having significant skin-to-skin contact with others in a social or sexual environment
- Working in institutions where sexual or intimate activities take place (e.g. bathhouses, saunas, sex clubs, hotels)
- Physicians or laboratory personnel at high risk of occupational exposure
- Anyone determined to be at high risk by a healthcare professional or public health official
While not new, monkeypox is a potentially serious viral disease caused by a virus not commonly seen in the United States and is spread through close physical contact. The disease can make you sick, including a potentially painful rash, which may look like bumps on your skin, blisters, or sores. Some people have a flu-like illness before they get a rash.
According to the CDC, early data suggests that gay, bisexual, gay and other men who have sex with men make up a large number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close personal contact with someone who has monkey pox can become infected, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
Guidance in monkey pox
If your monkey pox test is positive, stay isolated until your rash has healed, all the scabs have fallen off, and a new layer of intact skin has formed.