Virginia Department of Health confirms first case of Monkeypox

The individual is a resident of Northern Virginia who recently traveled internationally
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 2:58 PM EDT|Updated: May. 27, 2022 at 4:14 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health has announced the first case of Monkeypox in a Virginia resident.

According to the VDH, the initial testing was completed at the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services. The health department said Friday that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention has also officially confirmed the test results.

The Northern Virginia woman recently traveled to an African country where the disease is known to occur.

Officials said she was not infectious during travel and is isolated at home and monitoring her health.

VDH is working on getting in touch with all of her close contacts. No additional cases have been confirmed at this time.

“Monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States. The patient is currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public,” said State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH. “Transmission requires close contact with someone with symptomatic monkeypox, and this virus has not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population. VDH is monitoring national and international trends and has notified medical providers in Virginia to watch for monkeypox cases and report them to their local health district as soon as possible. Based on the limited information currently available about the evolving multi-country outbreak, the risk to the public appears to be very low.”

While monkeypox is rare, it is a potentially serious illness that is transmitted when there is close contact with an infected person or animal.

“Illness typically begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swelling of the lymph nodes. After a few days, a specific type of rash appears, often starting on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body,” VDH said.

Symptoms typically show up seven to 14 days after exposure and clear up within two to four weeks, but some people can develop serious illness and die.

Anyone with symptoms consistent with monkeypox should seek medical treatment, especially if they fall into the following categories released by VDH:

  • Those who traveled to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where monkeypox cases have been reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox during the month before their symptoms began,
  • Those who have had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox, or
  • Men who regularly have close or intimate contact with other men, including meeting partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or at a bar or party.

For more information on monkeypox, click here.

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