(WJHL) — The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) on Wednesday announced that one person presumably has monkeypox in Southwest Virginia.
The VDH did not reveal which health district has the positive case but did describe the patient as a man who is isolated.
A VDH news release stated that “most, but not all, cases have occurred in persons who identify as gay, bisexual or men who have sex with men.”
In Virginia, the five new cases involve men, and the VDH continues to monitor their conditions and the patients’ close contacts. This includes three new cases in northern Virginia and one in eastern Virginia.
Monkeypox is a virus that is characterized by a specific rash, with lesions beginning on the genitals, perianal region or oral cavity. The rash might be the first or only sign of monkeypox and can be transmitted along with sexually transmitted infections.
Other signs and symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and/or swelling of the lymph nodes before developing a rash. These generally appear within six to 14 days after exposure to the virus and clear up within two to four weeks.
The virus spreads during close person-to-person contact or through direct contact with bodily fluids and contaminated materials. If you have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, seek medical care. There are no approved treatments for the virus, but there are treatments that can help.
Patients who have severe illness or are at high risk for developing severe illness can access treatment through the federal government with VDH coordination. There are also two post-exposure vaccines available.
Those most at risk for the virus include the following:
- Have had close contact or skin-to-skin with someone who had a rash that looked like monkeypox or was diagnosed with it
- Have traveled to places or attended events where monkeypox cases have been confirmed
- Have had contact with items used by a person with known or suspected monkeypox
- Have had contact with a live or dead exotic animal from Africa or used a product from such animals (game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)
The VDH urged anyone with symptoms to contact their medical provider, who should notify the VDH of the monkeypox diagnosis.
These new cases of monkeypox bring Virginia’s total reported cases to eight since May. None have been reported yet in Tennessee, according to a map from the CDC. Kentucky and North Carolina have one and two active cases, the map reveals.
Across the country, the CDC has reported 306 cases of monkeypox in the U.S. The outbreak, which involves 4,769 cases worldwide, has seen few hospitalizations and one death, the VDH reported Wednesday.
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