Town hall on monkeypox to be held Wednesday

Published 12:05 am Tuesday, September 6, 2022

SALISBURY — Rowan County Public Health, along with various community partners, is hosting a combined online and in-person town hall meeting on monkeypox Wednesday, Sept. 7, from 5:30 to 7 p.m.

The event will be held at Rowan County Department of Social Services, 1813 East Innes St. and will include a panel of representatives from Healthy Rowan, Livingstone College, Novant Health, Salisbury Pride, Appalachian State University’s Public Health Department and Youth Substance Use Prevention (YSUP) Rowan. Participants will address the global issue of monkeypox and what can be done to prevent the community spread of this virus.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported the first case of monkeypox in the state on June 23, and the first case in Rowan County was confirmed on July 15.

Most cases to date are among men who have sex with men. However, according to the Center for Disease Control, any person, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can acquire and spread monkeypox. Monkeypox transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids, or prolonged, close face-to-face contact.

Signs and symptoms can include a rash that may be located on or near the genitals and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle and back ache, headache, respiratory symptoms such as sore throat, nasal congestion or coughing. Illness usually starts within three weeks of exposure and typically lasts two to four weeks.

Although monkeypox is a rare, it can be a potentially serious, viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms. There is a vaccine, and as of Aug. 30, 352,675 doses had been administered in the U.S. At that time, there were 346 cases that had been identified in N.C., with case counts breaking down into categories of 1-10, 11-50, 51-100, 100-500, and over 500. California and New York currently have the highest reported cases, both reporting more than 3,000 as of last week.

At the town hall, discussion topics will include:

  • Prevention and transmission of monkeypox
  • Vaccines and vaccination criteria
  • At-risk populations
  • Monkeypox and health equity

Anyone interested can submit any questions during the town hall to

The public is invited to attend the event in person, but residents can also view the live stream on YouTube at following link