5 things to know about Monkeypox in Mecklenburg County

Infection typically spreads by skin-to-skin contact and last two to four weeks.
Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 4:46 PM EDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Axios) - The county announced its first case of Monkeypox on Monday, June 27.

Why it matters: We’re having déjà vu from when the county announced its first COVID-19 case in early 2020.

Yes, but: Monkeypox doesn’t spread as easily as COVID-19, Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Raynard Washington said during a press conference on Monday.

“Having gone just through — and still experiencing the impact of — a global pandemic certainly has everyone a little uneasy and certainly more cautious and more alert to these types of issues,” Washington said.

Zoom out: 4,106 monkeypox cases were identified outside of areas where the disease has a consistent presence worldwide as of June 24. North Carolina announced its first case last week.

  • Of note: No one has died because of this outbreak.

Here are five things to know.

1. Monkeypox is a viral illness

Signs of Monkeypox [include] flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over.

  • “[Monkeypox] is typically not a very severe illness,” Washington said. “It’s what we call self-limiting in that it tends to resolve itself in about two to four weeks without any kind of medical intervention.”

2. Monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted infection

Yes, but: It can be confused with STIs, like syphilis or herpes.

  • It can also look like chickenpox.
  • “The most important thing to understand is that this is not a sexually transmitted infection,” Washington said.

3. There is not a specific monkeypox vaccine

But they can administer the smallpox vaccine instead, per Washington. He added the CDC isn’t recommending any community-level vaccination efforts.

  • However, 40 additional doses of the smallpox vaccine were allocated to the county and arrived Monday. The smallpox vaccine isn’t something the county usually has in large supply.
  • The amount allocated to the county is determined by the state and the federal government.

4. Monkeypox typically spreads by skin-to-skin contact

At least one “close-contact” with the county case [has] been vaccinated, per Washington. Washington said he believes the county identified the source of the infection as an out-of-town resident.

5. Most infections last two to four weeks

Washington said their role is primarily to provide supportive care to help patients “deal with the uncomfortableness of the symptoms of the virus.”

Copyright 2022 Axios Charlotte, WBTV. All rights reserved.