Kansas doctor shares perspective on monkeypox outbreak, polio case in U.S.

A global monkeypox outbreak hit the U.S. in recent months while doctors in New York confirmed the United States’ first case of polio in nearly a decade.
Published: Aug. 6, 2022 at 12:59 AM CDT
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WICHITA, Kan. (KWCH) - A global monkeypox outbreak hit the U.S. in recent months while doctors in New York confirmed the United State’s first case of polio in nearly a decade.

While Kansas has only one known confirmed monkeypox case, doctors say it’s only a matter of time before that number rises with neighboring states seeing more cases. Looking at the situations concerning public health across Kansas and the U.S. Sedgwick County Health Officer Dr. Garold Minns offered perspective on what the state is seeing.

“I have no doubt we’re gonna see more cases because our borders are porous, he said of monkeypox. “People are crossing borders all the time. People are coming to Kansas City, Kansas from Kansas City, Missouri.”

He said the disease spreads easily from skin-to-skin contact. Currently, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment said testing for monkeypox must be completed through healthcare providers and vaccines will only be administered to those who are infected or have been in contact with someone infected.

Dr. Minns said that might be the case for the foreseeable future.

“it’s in such short supply,” he said of the vaccine for monkeypox. “I think that most of the supply is going to those states that are seeing lots of cases.”

With polio, New York is the only state to have a reported case, but more are expected with the virus detected in wastewater samples. Dr. Minns said this shouldn’t be a serious concern for Kansas at this point as most people are vaccinated against polio from a young age. He said most who contract the virus haven’t been vaccinated.

“Ninety-nine percent of us have had to have the vaccine. It’s a very effective vaccine,” he said of the safeguard against polio. “it’s extremely rare In the United States. As a matter of fact, if we see a case of polio, I can tell you, we’re going to be on that right now and figuring out where they got it.”

Dr. Minns also stressed that if either monkeypox or polio do become a threat closer to home, Kansans should listen to medical experts, not social media.

“Much more confidence in your physician than Facebook,” he said.

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