Kentucky’s first probable case of monkeypox identified in Jefferson County

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and...
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 World Health Organization will convene an emergency committee of experts to determine if the expanding monkeypox outbreak that has mysteriously spread outside its usual zones should be considered an international public health emergency.(Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, file)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 4:44 PM EDT
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Health officials have identified the first probable case of monkeypox in the commonwealth within a Jefferson County resident.

According to the Kentucky Department for Public Health, initial testing was completed, with additional testing to confirm the case being conducted at the CDC.

State health officials said the case is considered a probable monkeypox infection. The patient, who is not being identified due to privacy concerns, is being isolated.

Officials are working to identify anyone the patient may have come in contact with.

“Identifying the first case of monkeypox in Kentucky is concerning but not surprising,” Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said in a release. “Fortunately, the risk to the general public remains low. We continue to work closely with CDC and our local health department and healthcare partners to contain the spread of this virus.”

As of June 23, the CDC reports that 173 monkeypox cases have been identified in 24 U.S. states. Transmission of monkeypox can happen through skin-to-skin contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores or contaminated items, according to officials.

Monkeypox begins with flu-like symptoms, including fever and lymph node swelling, around five to 21 days after exposure, officials said. A rash or lesions will follow one to three days later.

The illness lasts from two to four weeks, and people are considered infectious from the time symptoms begin until all scabs from the rash have fallen off and skin has healed, according to a release.

The Kentucky Department of Public Health is asking individuals to be aware of risks to prevent spread of monkeypox, and for people who have symptoms to visit a doctor, cover rashes, wear a mask and avoid skin-to-skin contact.

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WAVE — Louisville and Southern Indiana's NBC affiliate. Follow us on Twitter & Instagram @wave3news.(WAVE)

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