First probable case of monkeypox in Kent Co.


First probable case of monkeypox in Kent Co.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) – The first probable case of monkeypox has been identified in Kent County, the Kent County Health Department said Monday.

The health department announced that the infected person is in isolation and “poses no danger to the general public”. Officials said the patient had recently traveled abroad and had been in close contact with someone who likely had monkeypox. The patient also tested negative for other diseases similar to monkeypox.

All close contacts are being monitored for symptoms, the health department said. No other cases were identified.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious disease. It spreads from person to person through direct contact with bodily fluids or monkeypox lesions. The health department said it can also be spread through respiratory droplets through prolonged personal contact or contact with contaminated materials, but this is less common.

“It’s very rare. It’s a very low risk to the community, but as it looks like several other diseases, it’s important for us to have specific information on monkeypox, and that’s especially true for travel and exposure,” said Cathy Armstrong of the Health Department. “If they don’t have travel or exposure or other type of high-risk behavior, then that’s really not a problem.”

She said the disease infected small groups of people.

“It’s not like COVID, where it can just spread dramatically in a population,” Armstrong said.

According to the health department, the incubation period is one to two weeks. Symptoms include headache, fever, muscle pain and fatigue. The rash and lesions often begin on the face one to three days after the onset of the disease. The illness usually lasts two to four weeks.

Anyone experiencing symptoms is asked to contact their doctor.

There are no specific treatments for the monkeypox virus, but the virus is genetically similar to smallpox, the health department said. This means that the antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox infections.

“Most people don’t need a monkeypox vaccine right now. However, if you have been in contact with someone who has the disease, you should contact your doctor,” the health department said in a press release.

– News 8’s Jacqueline Francis contributed to this report.

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