MPox Lesions

In this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention handout graphic, symptoms of one of the first known cases of the mpox virus are shown on a patient’s hand June 5, 2003. The CDC said the viral disease, thought to be spread by prairie dogs, has been detected in the Americas for the first time with about 20 cases reported in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Indiana. | Photo Courtesy of CDC/Getty Images

About one in five Kentuckians who are at risk for mpox — formerly called “monkeypox” — have received their vaccinations, Gov. Andy Beshear said last month.

The estimated at-risk population in Kentucky is 19,344, Beshear said. Of those, 21% got one dose of vaccine and 12% got two doses, compared to 37% and 23% nationally.

Mpox is characterized by rashes, swollen lymph nodes, fever, cold-like symptoms and more. The disease comes from a virus in the smallpox family.

Mpox spreads through close contact with an infected person, including sex, kissing, hugging and other intimate contact. A person is contagious until their scabs fall off and new skin forms underneath, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Those at higher risk for severe outcomes from mpox, according to the CDC, are those younger than 1, pregnant people, the immunocompromised and people who have had atopic dermatitis or eczema.

The CDC reported Kentucky had 104 cases as of March 29. The only neighboring state with fewer was West Virginia, with 12 cases.

“We have these (vaccine) doses available for those who are interested,” Beshear said.

For a full list of Kentucky’s health departments offering vaccines, visit:

The World Health Organization renamed mpox from “monkeypox” after concerns of “racist and stigmatizing language” associated with the former name.

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