For Immediate Release – June 24, 2022
Lorrie Andrew-Spear, Lorrie.Andrew-Spear@vdh.virginia.gov, Risk Communications Manager
Virginia Reports Second Presumed Case of Monkeypox
Individual is Resident in Northern Virginia
(Richmond, VA) — Today, the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) announced the second presumed monkeypox case in a Virginia resident. Testing was completed at the Department of General Services Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services and confirmed Orthopoxvirus infection. Confirmatory Monkeypox virus testing will be performed at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Multiple countries, including the United States, are currently experiencing a monkeypox outbreak. To date, most, but not all, cases have occurred in persons who identify as gay, bisexual, or men who have sex with men (MSM). Few hospitalizations and one death have been reported globally in this outbreak thus far. As of June 23, CDC had reported 3504 cases of monkeypox identified in 44 countries; 173 cases were reported in the United States.
“Monkeypox is a rare disease in the United States and based on the information currently available about the evolving multi-country outbreak, the risk to the public appears to be low.” said State Epidemiologist Lilian Peake, MD, MPH, Director of the Office of Epidemiology at VDH. “VDH continues to monitor this disease and provide guidance to medical providers in Virginia to be on the lookout for possible monkeypox cases and report them to their local health districts. We encourage anyone who has symptoms and potential exposure described below to consult their healthcare provider.”
The patient is an adult male resident of the Northern region of Virginia who was exposed out of state. The Virginia patient did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home. To protect patient privacy, no further information will be provided. The health department is identifying and monitoring the patient’s close contacts.
Monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness, characterized by a specific type of rash. Rash lesions can begin on the genitals, perianal region, or oral cavity and might be the first or only sign of illness. Co-infection with sexually transmitted infections have been reported. Some patients also have fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and/or swelling of the lymph nodes before developing a rash. Symptoms generally appear six to 14 days after exposure and, for most people, clear up within two to four weeks. As with many viral illnesses, treatment mainly involves supportive care and relief of symptoms. Person-to-person spread occurs with close contact or with direct contact with body fluids or contact with contaminated materials such as clothing or linens.
If you have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, seek medical care from your healthcare provider, especially if you are in one of the following groups:
- Those who have had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with monkeypox
- Those who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men
- Those who traveled to places or attended events where monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the month before symptoms appeared
- Those who have had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet from Africa or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)
If you need to seek care, call your healthcare provider first. Let them know you are concerned about possible monkeypox infection so they can take precautions to ensure that others are not exposed.
On June 24, June 14 and May 20, 2022, VDH distributed Clinician Letters to medical professionals reminding them to report any suspected cases of monkeypox to their local health department as soon as possible and implement appropriate infection prevention precautions.
For more information, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website, the World Health Organization website and the VDH website.
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