Douglas County reports more monkeypox cases

Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 1:27 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2022 at 3:07 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - A total of 17 cases of monkeypox have now been confirmed in Douglas County.

According to the Douglas County Health Department, monkeypox cases have been confirmed among men and women in Douglas County between 29 and 60 years old.

Health experts say anyone who has several minutes of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person can contract monkeypox. Men who have sex with men have made up a majority of cases in the current outbreak, although anyone can be at risk if they have extended skin-to-skin contact - regardless of their sexual orientation.

The disease can also be spread through contact with an infected person’s scabs, rash or body fluids. According to the Health Department, some people have also been infected after handling the clothing of an infected person.

Monkeypox has an incubation period of five days to three weeks.

Anyone with symptoms of monkeypox should contact a healthcare provider or the health department. Monkeypox is often identified through its characteristic rash that looks like pimples or blisters.

The Douglas County Health Department says antivirals used to treat smallpox may also help people with monkeypox. People at high risk of contracting the disease could also be a candidate for the JYNNEOS vaccine.

The vaccine is very limited and doses will be administered based on risk assessment. The Douglas County Health Department says it is working to get more vaccines.

More than 14,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the U.S. and 40,000 have been reported worldwide.