Douglas County reports first case of monkeypox

(Douglas County, NE) -- The first known case of monkeypox is reported in Douglas County.

The Douglas County Health Department says a case of orthopox virus has been confirmed in Douglas County in a man in his 30s with a history of international travel. DCHD says with further CDC testing underway, it is anticipated this will be the county’s first case of monkeypox. The health department says the person is isolating at home and a contact investigation is underway to inform people who may have been exposed.

Monkeypox is thought to originate in animals which can pass the disease on to people. Human transmission usually involves extended close personal contact or contact with materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin, or the eyes, nose, or mouth. In humans the symptoms of monkeypox are like, but milder than, the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. A rash that looks like pimples or blisters is a common indication a person may have monkeypox. The main difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell while smallpox does not. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days but can range from five days to three weeks.

DCHD says there is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but some antivirals have been used effectively. Some people who have had close personal contact with an infected individual may be a candidate for prophylaxis with a smallpox vaccine. They also should be monitored by public health. If you suspect you have monkeypox, or if you suspect you have been exposed, please contact your health care provider for guidance. The Health Department Information Line at (402) 444-3400 can also help answer your questions.

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