NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Metro Public Health Department is reporting its first case of monkeypox in Davidson County. It's believed to also be Tennessee's first case.
According to MPHD officials, the individual recently traveled to a country that has reported monkeypox cases.
The person is currently isolating at home and was not hospitalized. MPHD is working with the patient and their health care providers to identify individuals who may have been in contact with them while infectious.
"Most at-risk are people who have come in contact with someone who's had monkeypox," said Dr. Joanna Shaw-KaiKai, medical services director and infectious disease specialist at Metro Public Health Department. "Globally it's being seen in men who have sex with men."
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses as smallpox.
There are vaccines that treat monkeypox. The CDC says there is ample supply of a vaccine for small pox that is 85% effective in preventing monkeypox too.
The symptoms for monkeypox are similar to smallpox, but milder:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash or sores, sometimes located on or near the genitals or anus, but sometimes in other areas like the hands, feet, chest or face – sores will go through several stages before healing
- Sores may be inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus
- Some people experience a rash or sores first, followed by other symptoms and some only experience a rash or sores
- Monkeypox can be spread from the time symptoms start until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed – this can take several weeks
Monkeypox is rarely fatal.
The CDC states that the monkeypox virus can spread from person-to-person through:
- direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
- respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact
- touching items like clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluid