First monkeypox case confirmed in Rowan County, health officials say

Officials say 11 cases have been reported in North Carolina so far.
There have been 11 confirmed cases in the state as of Thursday.
Published: Jul. 15, 2022 at 11:14 AM EDT
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ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. (WBTV) - The first case of Monkeypox in Rowan County was confirmed Friday morning, according to the county’s public health department.

The individual is currently isolating, and close contacts have been notified. To protect patient privacy, no additional information about this individual will be shared.

Monkeypox is a communicable disease that may affect any person. Since May, the monkeypox virus infection has been identified in individuals with no travel history to other regions where the virus is more prevalent.

Health officials say a large proportion of the known monkeypox cases are among men who have sex with men. However, any person, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can acquire and spread monkeypox.

Monkeypox transmission typically requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids, or prolonged, close face-to-face contact.

RELATED: Health officials confirm first case of monkeypox in N.C.

There have been 11 confirmed cases in North Carolina as of Thursday. The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported the first case of the virus in North Carolina on June 23.

Although monkeypox is a rare, it can be a potentially serious, viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms. According to the CDC, symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.

The rash goes through various stages before healing completely.

There is one vaccine licensed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration available for preventing monkeypox infection.

According to the CDC, when properly administered before or after a recent exposure, the vaccine is an effective tool to protect people from this illness.

If you feel that you have been exposed to someone who has had monkeypox or feel that you are eligible to receive the vaccine, please call Rowan County Public Health at 704-216-8784 for more information.

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