- Monkeypox has flu-like symptoms as well as a painful rash in the genital areas.
- The county health department provides vaccinations free of charge.
The Cumberland County Health Department announced Monday that the first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Cumberland County.
The person who has tested positive is isolating at home, County Health Director Jennifer Green said during a press conference Monday afternoon. She said the department has identified and is communicating with people who have been in close contact with this patient.
Citing patient privacy, Green did not say how many people had been in close contact with the patient.
Green said the infection was discovered because the patient sought testing at the county health department last week. She said processing for the monkeypox test takes several days and the results came out on Monday.
Citing patient specifics, Green did not say where or how the patient was believed to have contracted the infection.
Monkeypox patients should remain isolated as long as they have a rash and blisters that have not healed or are covered with a crust. “Once it heals or flakes off, they are no longer contagious and we will release them from isolation,” Green said.
Symptoms of monkeypox
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses that cause smallpox but has milder symptoms.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that most people with monkeypox develop flu-like symptoms and develop a rash that may resemble blisters or blisters. The rash can be painful or itchy.
The rash can be on or near the genitals and anus, the CDC says, but it can also be on the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth.
“The rash will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing,” says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports that monkeypox virus can be transmitted from person to person through infected body fluids and items that have been in contact with infected virus fluids.
Available vaccines:The Cumberland County Department of Health is offering the monkeypox vaccine to eligible residents
Symptoms and treatment:Treating monkeypox myths: A look at symptoms, treatment, and other frequently asked questions
There are 60 confirmed cases of the virus in North Carolina and 5,189 in the United States as of Monday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The Cumberland County Department of Public Health continues to work with other federal, state, and local partners to investigate and locally monitor the current national outbreak and its impacts,” says a Department of Health news release.
How to get vaccinated in Cumberland County
The Ministry of Health sets the dates for the monkeypox vaccination. The vaccine helps prevent monkeypox and its symptoms.
Vaccinations are free. Call 910-433-3600 to request a vaccination appointment. Greene said that as of Monday evening, people can usually get the vaccination the same day they call, and she believes the department has enough to meet demand among those who qualify.
Residents can also call 910-433-3600 to request a test appointment.
Because of the limited supply, Green said, vaccines are only given to people deemed eligible because they are at greater risk. especially:
- Anyone who has had close physical contact in the last 14 days with a person who has monkeypox.
- Anyone who knows their sexual partner has been diagnosed with monkeypox.
- Men who have sex with men, or transgender people, who in the past 90 days have been exposed to:
- Had multiple or unknown sexual partners.
- or who have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
- or who have received medicines to prevent HIV infection.
So far mostly in gay men, but anyone can catch it
Although the disease has been largely reported in the United States among sexually active gay men, “anyone can get monkeypox,” Green said. She said outbreaks that start in one population can spread to other groups.
“So we want everyone in the community to be aware of what monkeypox is, and what the signs and symptoms are.”
Green said monkeypox spreads through close contact between individuals.
She said this would be several hours of face-to-face contact.
“Or the contact that occurred through physical contact may be intimate, such as kissing, sex, or cuddling,” Green said. “It can also be transmitted from skin to skin or through indirect objects such as bed sheets.” She said the contact must be prolonged.
Residents with a rash, blistering, or other unexplained symptoms should cover the rash and avoid sex or intimacy with anyone until you have been evaluated by a medical provider.
North Carolina reporter Paul Woolverton can be contacted at 910-261-4710 and [email protected]