State health officials said on Friday, July 15th,The first case of monkeypox virus reached Alabama.
The Alabama Public Health Service (ADPH) confirmed two cases of monkeypox virus in both Jefferson and Mobile counties this afternoon.
According to a state press release, the first case was detected on mobile after being tested by the ADPH Clinical Laboratory (BCL). The Department is part of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) for responding to public health emergencies.
The news confirmed a second case in Jefferson County, according to Birmingham health officials.
Monkeypox virusA virus that belongs to the same family as smallpox virus. However, monkeypox is less contagious than smallpox, and the disease causes mild symptoms and is usually not fatal.
In the United States, approximately 1,470 monkeypox cases have been identified in 44 states so far, and more cases are expected at the time of this global outbreak.
At this time, health officials have not announced cases of the virus in Tallapoosa County, but county and state health officials remain vigilant for additional cases.
Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person, but close skin-to-skin contact seems to be the main route of transmission today.
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, 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.
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.
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. Although effective vaccines for monkeypox exist, there is currently no recommendation for vaccination of individuals with unknown exposure to confirmed cases.
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