First case of Monkeypox identified in Northampton County

Published 8:23 am Tuesday, August 23, 2022

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JACKSON – The Northampton County Health Department (NCHD) has confirmed the first case of Monkeypox in the county.

NCHD staff have been in contact with the individual and the case has been referred to isolate per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations.

NCHD will not share any additional information about this case in order to protect patient privacy. NCHD has opened a contact investigation to notify close contacts and provide guidance.

“We want our community to know that our staff has been working diligently to stay abreast of the most up-to-date information on Monkeypox to be prepared should a case present in Northampton County. We want the citizens to stay informed and for individuals to know when to seek medical care and get tested promptly if they have symptoms,” said Northampton County Health Director Megan Vick.

Monkeypox is a rash illness, caused by the Monkeypox virus. Monkeypox can be spread to anyone through close contact, including:

Direct skin-to-skin contact with the Monkeypox rash, sores, or scabs;

Contact with objects that have been used by someone with Monkeypox (clothes, linens, surfaces);

Exposure to respiratory droplets or oral fluids during prolonged face-to-face contact with someone with Monkeypox; and

Monkeypox can also be spread during intimate oral, anal, or vaginal sexual contact with a person with Monkeypox.

The symptoms of Monkeypox include a rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash can initially look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.

Other symptoms are a fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion muscle aches and backache, headache, and respiratory issues (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough).

Anyone can get Monkeypox, although many of the individuals recently diagnosed self-identify as being men who have sex with other men. The virus enters the body through broken skin, or mucus membranes such as the eyes, nose, mouth or genitals. The virus does not spread exclusively through any one gender, sexual, or social network.

If you have a new or unexplained rash, see your healthcare provider and avoid having close or intimate contact with anyone until you have been checked out. If you do not have a provider, call your local health department.

If you have come into contact with someone who has a new or unexplained rash, notify your health care provider or your local health department.

Testing is widely available and encouraged if you had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Monkeypox, or have symptoms of Monkeypox including unexplained bumps sores, blisters or pimples that look like Monkeypox.

Please call the Northampton County Health Department at 252-534-5841 with any questions or concerns.

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