The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services has recently confirmed the first positive case of monkeypox within North Carolina. This case has been identified in Haywood County.
The Jackson County Department of Public Health is working closely with the N.C. Department of Health and Human Services to remain up to date on all aspects of prevention, treatment, spread and risk factors as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, there is no great risk identified for the general public.
Haywood public health officials have been working closely with NCDHHS to identify potential contacts. The individual is isolating at home. In respect of their privacy, no other details surrounding the case will be released.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious, viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes, and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. The illness could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes; or with varicella-zoster virus (chickenpox). Most infections last two to four weeks.
Some people are at a higher risk for getting monkeypox, including people who have had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox; people who have had close contact, such as skin-to-skin contact, with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application, or social event (e.g., a bar or party); and people who traveled to an area where monkeypox activity has been ongoing may also be at a higher risk.
Infection with monkeypox virus begins with an average incubation period of 7-14 days but can range from 5-21 days. A person is not contagious during this period. The contagious period begins with the onset of symptoms. The first symptoms include fever, headache, malaise, sore throat and swollen lymph nodes.
Following the initial onset of symptoms, lesions will develop in the mouth and on the body and will progress through several stages. A person is contagious from the onset of symptoms through the scab stage of lesions.
People can take basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox. If you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms, see your healthcare provider. If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you. Keep the rash covered and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out. Monkeypox virus can be killed by common household cleaners and detergents.
The CDC have been tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported in several countries that do not normally report monkeypox, including the United States. This virus has and will continue to be monitored diligently by health officials.
Follow the link to the CDC website for current and accurate data surrounding this virus: www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html.