First case of Monkeypox reported in Mississippi

Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 5:05 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - The Mississippi State Department of Health reported its first case of Monkeypox in a Mississippi resident on Monday.

MSDH says the individual was tested at the Mississippi State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory.

According to authorities, an investigation is underway to identify anyone who may have encountered the patient while they were infectious.

MSDH did not announce which county in the state the positive test originated from.

The department says that while this is the first reported case in the state, “it remains likely that other cases will be identified as well.”

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the Monkeypox virus. Health officials say transmission can occur with close skin-to-skin contact such as kissing, cuddling, or sex with an infected person.

Transmission can also occur by touching clothing or linens, bedding, or towels of an infected person, or inhaling the respiratory droplets during prolonged close contact with an infected person.

MSDH says symptoms may start out as a fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and muscle aches, followed by a rash that starts out as flat and then advances to pimples or blisters and ulcers on the face, body, and private parts (sexual organs).

According to health officials, the rash can be itchy and painful. It can also be confused with sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and herpes or with chickenpox.

The illness typically lasts two to four weeks. MSDH says sometimes people get a rash first followed by other symptoms while others only experience a rash.

According to the department, it has received limited doses of vaccine that will be used to treat MSDH-identified individuals exposed to a case of Monkeypox.

“While anyone can get Monkeypox, many of the cases identified in the outbreak in the US and globally have been among men who have sex with men,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said.

As of July 22, 2022, there have been 2,891 confirmed cases of Monkeypox nationally, with no reported deaths.

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