NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — The Louisiana Department of Health (LDH) has an urgent recommendation for visitors and locals in New Orleans this weekend for the annual Pride events. They are urging folks to get vaccinated for Monkeypox or Mpox, which it is now called.

The LDH is not seeing the number of cases like last summer, but Mpox is still a growing concern for health officials, especially at large social event like Pride.

The Pride party won’t stop in the French Quarter, but health officials want partygoers to stop ang get vaccinated for Mpox, which is formerly known as Monkeypox.

“We know community transmission is still occurring,” said Theresa Sokol with the LDH.

She said since the MPox outbreak began, there’s been 314 cases in Louisiana and 8 of those cases have been since January of this year and not all of the cases are being reported.

“Community transmission is occurring at lower levels, but there is a risk for a resurgence and we want folks to know that getting vaccinated is their best protection,” she said.

Sokol says large social events like Pride could cause future outbreaks, especially for those at high risk if they are not vaccinated against the disease.

Mpox is mostly spread through intimate and sexual skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. It is a disease that causes extreme rashes and swollen lymph nodes.

“One of the ways we are trying to facilitate is to make it as easy as possible to hold vaccination clinics at sites where people may already be going to gather for festivals,” she said.

“They can have fun. They can attend these events. They can have their celebrations. We want that to happen, but we want folks to be as protected as possible,” Sokol said.

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