For Immediate Release
Public Health Information
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Rowan County Public Health Confirms First Monkeypox Case
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reported the first case of monkeypox in North Carolina on June 23rd. As of yesterday, there have been 1,470 confirmed monkeypox cases in the United States, with 11 confirmed cases in North Carolina.
As of July 15, 2022, we have our first confirmed Monkeypox case in Rowan County. The individual is currently isolating, and close contacts have been notified. To protect patient privacy, no additional information about this individual will be shared. Rowan County Public Health, along with federal, state, and local partners are working closely together to investigate and monitor the current national outbreak.
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. Currently, 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.
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:
- Muscle aches and backache;
- Swollen lymph nodes;
- 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.
The incubation period for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days, but it can range from 5−21 days. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. People with monkeypox are infectious from the start of their symptoms until the lesions heal and new skin forms underneath scabs. For more detailed information, please visit the CDC’s website.
As far as protecting yourself, the following things are suggested:
- Know the symptoms and risk factors of the virus.
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact with people who are showing a rash or skin sores, and especially if they have a confirmed case of monkeypox.
- Be aware that in areas with known spread, participating in activities with close, personal, skin-to-skin contact may pose a higher risk of exposure.
- If you were recently exposed to the virus, contact your healthcare provider.
- Monitor your health for fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and any new, unexplained rash.
- If you become ill, avoid contact with others until you receive medical care.
Currently, 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.
Download Media Release COVID-19 - July 15, 2022 (PDF)