Date: 08/07/2022

Monkeypox is spreading around the globe, but is not like COVID-19.  It is spread primarily by skin-to-skin contact.  Any person with decreased barrier function of their skin (most people with ichthyosis) is at more risk of contracting a skin-spread disease. In one way, people with skin that requires more daily attention are likely to notice changes to their skin quickly, and those of their partners or children, and so can seek help early.  The CDC outlines higher risk groups, and notes that spread is mostly through direct skin to skin contact. Relative to ichthyosis, there are specific types of ichthyosis which do put people at great risk for viral infection, and this is also a viral illness.

There are two existing vaccines that are effective. JYNNEOS - a live Vaccina vaccine that does NOT replicate efficiently in human cells (SAFEST for those with eczema or other exfoliative - peeling - skin conditions).  The second vaccine is called ACAM2000 - this has a live Vaccinia virus that CAN replicate in human cells efficiently, and there is a larger supply of this vaccine available, but it is NOT recommended for people with eczema or peeling skin conditions.  IF you need to be vaccinated, we recommend sharing this information with your healthcare team prior to vaccination to help decide which vaccine would be safest for you. There are also antivirals that are effective in helping with disease, if someone contracts it.  If you have concerns about what to do if you suspect exposure to monkeypox, it is reasonable to contact your primary care doctor to lay out a game plan for where you should be seen (clinic or hospital), testing and treatment, should the need arise.

If you have other specific questions, please refer to this very helpful and detailed information from the CDC as the best reference and consult your doctor as needed.

From the MSAB

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