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First case of monkeypox identified in Mississippi

Photo courtesy of CDC
Photo courtesy of CDC

The Mississippi State Department of Health has reported the first case of monkeypox in a Mississippi resident.

The specimen was tested at the Mississippi State Department of Health Public Health Laboratory in Jackson. An investigation is ongoing into who may have been in contact with the patient while they were infectious.

The transmission of monkeypox can occur with close skin-to-skin contact with an infected person; by touching clothing or linens, bedding, or towels of an infected person; or by inhaling respiratory droplets during prolonged close contact with an infected person.

According to medical officials, gay and bisexual men are most at risk for monkeypox.

“While anyone can get monkeypox, many of the cases identified in the outbreak in the U.S. and globally have been among men who have sex with men,” State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said.

The New England Journal of Medicine released last week that 98% of cases across 16 countries between April and June were in gay or bisexual men.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and muscle aches, followed by a rash that starts out as flat and then advances to pimples, or blisters and ulcers on the face, body and private parts (sexual organs). The rash can become painful and be confused with sexually transmitted infections such as syphillis and herpes, or with chickenpox.

As of a week ago, Mississippi was one of just seven states without a case. MSDH currently has a limited number of vaccines to treat individuals exposed to Monkeypox.

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