Image from Pixabay
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reports the first case of monkeypox virus infection in a North Carolina resident, identified through testing at the State Public Health Laboratory. Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that usually features flu-like symptoms, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that includes bumps that initially fill with fluid before crusting over. The disease could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection such as syphilis or herpes, or with the varicella zoster virus (chickenpox). Most infections last two to four weeks.
NCDHHS is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, relevant local health departments, and the patient’s health care providers to identify and notify people who may have been in contact with the patient while they were infectious. Monkeypox is usually spread by skin-to-skin contact. The person is currently isolated at home. No further information about this case will be shared to protect patient privacy.
As of May 2022, 3,308 cases of monkeypox have been identified outside of endemic regions around the world, with 156 cases identified in the United States. There have been no deaths related to this outbreak. The epidemiological investigation of these cases is ongoing. Information on international cases is available from the World Health Organization and information on US cases is available from the CDC .
“The number of monkeypox cases has been increasing in the US and around the world,” said Dr. Zack Moore, state epidemiologist and chief of the epidemiology section. “Although this is the first confirmed case in North Carolina, we know there are likely other cases in the state. We encourage clinicians to consider this in people who have a rash or skin lesion that resembles monkeypox .”
Monkeypox is spread from person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact, contact with an infectious rash, body fluids, or respiratory secretions. Such contact often occurs during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, fondling, or sex. While anyone can get monkeypox, in the current outbreak, many of the cases are in men who have sex with men.
People can take basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox. If you have a rash, sores, or other unexplained symptoms, see your health care provider; If you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you. Keep the rash covered and avoid having sex or being intimate with anyone until you’ve been checked out. Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective for cleaning environmental surfaces and bedding.
More information can be found on the CDC website:
Signs and symptoms
how it spreads
Monkeypox Information for Sexually Active People