First confirmed case of monkeypox reported in St. Joseph County

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(Photo supplied/CDC/NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network)

St. Joseph County Health Officials are reporting a confirmed case of monkeypox in the County.

Health officials say though the risk to the community at-large is low; however, residents are urged to watch for symptoms and seek medical care if necessary.

The State of Indiana identified its first cases at the end of June.

Monkeypox is an infection caused by a virus. In cases reported in the United States, monkeypox typically presents as a rash associated at times with fever and muscle aches; these symptoms may precede the onset of the rash. The rash can be quite variable, ranging from only a few skin lesions to many skin lesions. The rash may initially appear like small bumps on the skin that progress to blister-like lesions or small ulcerations, eventually
forming a crust. The rash is often associated with swollen lymph nodes.

The virus can be transmitted from an infected person to an uninfected person through the following mechanisms:

• Direct contact with the rash, scabs, or bodily fluids
• Prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, and/or sexual activity
• Touching items (clothing, bedding, etc.) that have been touched by the infectious rash or bodily fluids
• Pregnant women can also transmit the virus to the fetus through the placenta

To prevent the spread of and infection with monkeypox, one should:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person suspected of monkeypox.
  • Do not cuddle, kiss, hug, or have sex with someone who has monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person who has monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends vaccination for people whose sexual partners have been diagnosed in the past two weeks with monkeypox.

For more information and updates, please visit the Indiana State Department of Health’s Monkeypox response page and the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention at www.cdc.gov.

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