As the Biden administration declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency on Thursday, August 4th, 2022.
The National Emerging Special Pathogens Training and Education Center (NETEC) and partners in the Regional Emerging Special Pathogens Treatment Centers (RESPTCs) continue to mobilize their network of highly trained special pathogens programs in support of increased preventative measures, national and international coordination, and the rapid and effective treatment of monkeypox.
“We are here to equip clinicians with the training, skills and resources necessary to safely and effectively care for patients experiencing monkeypox while limiting the spread of this rare but potentially serious illness,” said Dr. Vikram Mukherjee, NETEC Co-Principal Investigator and Medical Director of the ICU and the Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals/Bellevue.
“NETEC and the special pathogens programs in the RESTPCs were instrumental in mounting a national COVID-19 response, and we remain committed to ensuring that our health care system remains responsive, capable, and prepared to address this new public health emergency.”
NETEC provides free expert consultation, technical support, and clinical resources for frontline clinicians, researchers, and health care agencies, including resources on PPE, specimen collection, infection prevention and waste management, and specialized guidance for EMS professionals, researchers, and more.
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Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like symptoms, followed by a rash or sores that resemble pimples or blisters.
Some patients have had genital lesions and the rash may be hard to distinguish from syphilis, herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, chancroid, varicella zoster, and other more common infections.
Rarely, the disease may become severe, with complications of pneumonia and brain inflammation.
Children, pregnant, or breastfeeding persons are at increased risk of severe disease, alongside patients with uncontrolled HIV and other conditions that weaken the immune system; a history of inflammatory bowel disease; exfoliative skin conditions including atopic dermatitis, psoriasis, or eczema.
Though monkeypox is not as contagious as COVID-19 or the flu, the risk of spread is high during oral sex, anal sex, vaginal sex, and other intimate contact.
Individuals experiencing symptoms of monkeypox should immediately isolate themselves from others immediately and speak to their health care provider.
Clinicians should remain alert for patients that present rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox; implement the identify, isolate, and inform strategy to reduce potential exposures in their facilities; and adhere to a combination of standard, contact, airborne, and droplet precautions in all health care settings (CDC).
Established in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) following the successful treatment of Ebola patients in 2014, NETEC’s mission is to set the gold standard for special pathogen preparedness and response across health systems in the U.S. with the goals of driving best practices, closing knowledge gaps, and developing innovative resources.
NETEC leverages the unique expertise, resources, and experience of regional partners and federal agencies to assess health care facility readiness, train providers, provide technical assistance and build a rapid research infrastructure to combat emerging special pathogens, building a sustainable infrastructure and culture of readiness for managing suspected and confirmed special pathogen incidents across the United States public health and health care delivery systems. Visit NETEC.org for more information.