Faith community nurses provide services to diverse populations and should be aware of the recent monkeypox outbreak. The 2022 outbreak is dissimilar from previous as cases are occurring in non-endemic countries with no travel connections to endemic countries. Cases in the United States are mostly identified in the gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men. Symptoms of monkeypox begin with flu-like symptoms progressing to a sequential rash (macule, papule, vesicles, pustules, scabs). The distinguishing characteristic of monkeypox from other Orthopoxviruses is lymphadenopathy. There is no FDA approved treatment for monkeypox as most cases are mild and self-limiting, however severe cases can occur requiring intervention. Tecovirimat (TPOXX), an antiviral approved by the FDA for the treatment of smallpox in adults and children, has received expanded access for the treatment of monkeypox. TPOXX is available by request from state/regional health departments. Due to the emerging public health crisis the FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the JYNNEOS vaccine against monkeypox. The EUA allows for the vaccine to be administered intradermally at one fifth the original dose to extend availability of the vaccine. Faith community nurses need to be aware of the screening criteria, available treatment for severe cases, and availability of vaccine for prevention.
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