Birmingham, Alabama (WBRC)-The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) have identified the first case of monkeypox virus infection in Alabama.
Patient specimens from Mobile County were tested by the ADPH Clinical Laboratory (BCL), which is part of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) for public health emergencies.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and Jefferson County Health Department (JCDH) have also received reports from the ADPH Clinical Institute on positive specimens of monkeypox living in the Jefferson County area. This is the second case ever confirmed in Alabama.
No information has been released about the patients or where they live, but health officials say more cases are expected in Alabama.
In this outbreak Monkeypox According to the Alabama Public Health Service, about 1,470 cases have been identified in 44 states in the United States, and more are expected.
Dr. Wesley Willefford of the Jefferson County Health Department states that this is the first time a large number of monkeypox cases have been diagnosed in the United States, except for a minor outbreak in 2003. He is the Director of Disease Management and Medical Care at JCDH.
According to ADPH doctors, monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person, but in the current global outbreak, close and intimate skin-to-skin contact appears to be the primary route of transmission. Contact with substances used by infected people, such as clothing and linen, can infect the virus. The virus usually enters the body through broken skin, respiratory droplets, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
Symptoms of this latest outbreak were less typical than previous cases of monkeypox. Instead, a person begins as flat spots, followed by raised spots, then deep vesicles, and small spots in the center of the vesicles, which can be itchy and painful.
Dr. Willeford says they are looking for someone who may have been exposed and may be at risk.
“What we really need now, and hope that this will happen soon, is to be assigned some of the available vaccines by the federal government,” said Dr. Willefford. “The vaccine currently available is called JYNNEOS. At this point, we hope that the state and other parts of the country are all competing for it.”
Dr. Willeford says many people want more monkeypox vaccine production, so more vaccines will soon be available.
More from ADPH
The rash can only occur on parts of the body. Some people have a rash alone that does not cause other symptoms such as fever, flu-like illness, headache, muscle aches, and malaise.
It takes about 7 to 14 days from exposure to the virus to the onset of the disease, but it can take as long as 21 days. Some men who have had monkeypox have sex with men, but anyone exposed to monkeypox and in close skin-to-skin contact can be infected. there is.
The steps to prevent monkeypox are as follows:
- Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, clothing or towels of people with monkeypox.
- Have a person with monkeypox isolated from others.
- Wash your hands frequently with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after contact with a sick person suffering from monkeypox.
- Avoid contact with animals that may be infected with the virus (such as sick or found dead animals).
Testing for monkeypox can be done at ADPHBCL and some commercial laboratories.effective Vaccine against monkeypox Although present, there is currently no recommendation for vaccination of persons with unknown exposure to confirmed cases. Antiviral treatment can be considered for people at certain high-risk conditions, such as immunosuppression.
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