The monkeypox outbreak has now been declared a worldwide public health emergency, with more than 44,000 cases reported across 96 countries as of Tuesday, Aug. 23.
Confirmed cases in Arkansas are up three to 26 this week, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. The count includes three cases in Washington County and one in Benton County. Pulaski County leads the state with 12 confirmed cases. Faulkner County, which three cases, is the only other location with more than one confirmed case.
The state lists six locations in Northwest Arkansas where vaccines are available, including: Pat Walker Health Center at 525 N. Garland Ave. in Fayetteville; Washington Regional Medical Center at 3215 North Hills Blvd. in Fayetteville; the Health Department clinic at 3270 Wimberly Drive in Fayetteville; AR Care at 3057 Springdale Ave. in Springdale; Community Pharmacy at 400 W. Emma Ave. in Springdale; and Community Clinic NWA at 614 E. Emma Ave. #300 in Springdale.
Those eligible for a vaccine include people who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox, people who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox, and people who had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known monkeypox.
The federal government earlier this month declared a public health emergency to bolster the response to the outbreak that has infected nearly 16,000 Americans.
A few days later U.S. health officials approved a plan to stretch the nation’s limited supply of monkeypox vaccine by giving people a reduced dose, citing research suggesting that just one-fifth the regular dose appears to still be effective.