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Guilford County announces monkeypox case total to 11 during commissioners meeting

County leaders discussed the status of the disease in Guilford County over the last few weeks.

GREENSBORO, N.C. — Guilford County's top health official said the number of Monkeypox cases in the county has more than doubled in the last week to 11.

Dr. Iulia Vann gave an update on the virus at Thursday's county commission meeting.

Dr. Vann said seven of those cases were identified in the last week. All 11 cases were identified in the last three weeks.

The jump in cases in Guilford County comes as Monkeypox spreads rapidly across the country.

There are 198 cases statewide according to NCDHHS. Guilford County has the highest level of spread in the Triad.

Dr. Vann said it's important to remember, that there have been no deaths from this virus in the U.S. The big issue is the painful sores the virus creates.

Both state and countywide, data shows men ages 30 to 49 years old are getting the virus. Mostly it is spreading among men who have sex with other men.

At the state level, the vast majority of those cases are in African American men.

Here in Guilford County, cases are more evenly split between Black and white men.

Vann thinks the number of cases will continue to rise.

"We're getting more people to come in to get tested so we anticipate that more cases are going to be identified next week," Vann said.

Guilford County does offer the Monkeypox vaccine.

The White House announced 1.8 million more doses of it will be available Monday. Federal health officials are also starting a new program to distribute the vaccine at LGBTQ events.

"These are opportunities for us to reach populations that we might not otherwise be able to reach, which we feel is a really good opportunity to get these messages out there," CDC Director Rochelle Walensky said.

Vann said 91 people have been vaccinated against the virus so far in Guilford County. The health department is meeting with NC DHHS about Monkeypox weekly.

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