COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — The West Central Health District, which is associated with the Georgia Department of Public Health, has stated in a press release that it is offering a limited supply of monkeypox vaccines in Columbus. They will be available by appointment only. Those interested can register at https://ga.readyop.com/fs/59Vd/2d0c or call (833) 337-1749 for an appointment. The press release states that the monkeypox vaccine is given in two doses with 28 days between doses.

The West Central Health District is also offering monkeypox testing for those who have been exposed to the virus or have symptoms. Those interested in testing can schedule an appointment by calling (833) 337-1749.

The press release states that monkeypox can be spread by “direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids; respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, kissing or cuddling and by sexual contact and touching items such as clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.”

Additionally, it states that only those with monkeypox symptoms can spread the virus.

“It can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed,” says the press release. “The illness usually lasts two to four weeks and is rarely fatal.”

Monkeypox has many symptoms including “fever, headache, muscle aches/backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, respiratory symptoms (e.g., sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough) and a rash that may be located on or near the genitals (penis, testicles, labia, and vagina) or anus but could also be on the hands, feet, chest, face or mouth.”

The West Central Health District recommends that those with monkeypox stay home.

More information on monkeypox can be found at https://dph.georgia.gov/monkeypox