Douglas County Health Department reports fourth monkeypox case

FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control...
FILE - This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. The spread of monkeypox in the U.S. in 2022 could represent the dawn of a new sexually transmitted disease, or it could yet be contained. Or it might be too early to tell. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)(AP)
Published: Jul. 25, 2022 at 2:08 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Another suspected case of monkeypox has been reported in Douglas County. According to the Douglas County Health Department, contact tracing has begun to identify and inform anyone who may have been in contact with the infected person.

This latest case of monkeypox comes shortly after the World Health Organization declared a Global Health Emergency.

DCHD says the risk of monkeypox to the public is still low. Anyone who has symptoms of monkeypox, its signature rash in particular, should contact their healthcare provider or the health department.

On July 19, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported the first presumed case of monkeypox in Lancaster County. Confirmatory testing is currently being performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The person is a man in his 30s with recent travel history outside of Nebraska. He is isolating at home. The Health Department is currently investigating potential close contacts and will notify those who may have been exposed.

Monkeypox is mostly spread via skin-to-skin contact. Keep a look out for its signature symptoms.
Monkeypox is mostly spread via skin-to-skin contact. Keep a look out for its signature symptoms.(Douglas County Health Department)

The disease is spread mostly via skin-to-skin contact with an infected person. According to DCHD, anyone who has had several minutes of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person is at risk. It is also spread through contact with an infected person’s rash, scabs or body fluids.

Monkeypox has a variety of symptoms, sometimes starting with a fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion.

The incubation period - the period of time between contracting the disease and showing symptoms - can range from five days to three weeks.

Monkeypox still has no specific treatment, but antivirals have been used effectively before. People exposed to the disease have sometimes had success with prophylaxis with a vaccine. The DCHD says they have a limited supply of vaccines available for this.

DCHD says the global outbreak of monkeypox is disproportionately affecting men who have sex with men. It has also affected people who have met with partners via websites, apps or social events.

More than 16,000 cases have been reported worldwide so far, with more than 2,800 being in the U.S.

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