AUSTIN (KXAN) — While monkeypox isn’t nearly as transmissible as COVID, medics’ preparations look very similar.
“Eye protection, gowns, the respirator, the N95 or P100s that we carry as well as decontamination procedures after the fact,” said Captain Christa Stedman with Austin-Travis County EMS (ATCEMS).
The City and County declared monkeypox a public health emergency earlier this week.
“So we’re in line for reimbursement for funding should an opportunity present to us,” said Mayor Steve Adler.
ATCEMS started its plan last month, which includes the same decontamination process the agency used after transferring COVID patients.
“Making sure crews are notified the proper chain of command, getting their gear decontaminated, getting themselves decontaminated,” said Capt. Stedman. “We’ve also done some internal communications within the department to spread awareness of signs and symptoms.”
Area hospitals say they’re following CDC guidelines to prevent the spread. Currently, the CDC says frontline healthcare workers don’t need a pre-exposure monkeypox vaccine.
“It’s just really important for everyone to know this is a disease that, just like COVID, it does not discriminate. Everyone is susceptible to it,” said Capt. Stedman.