JACKSON, Miss. – Today the Mississippi State Department of Health is reporting the first case of monkeypox in a Mississippi resident. The sample was tested at the Mississippi State Department of Public Health Laboratory. An investigation to identify persons who may have encountered the patient while they were infectious is ongoing. The development (incubation) of the disease after exposure is one to two weeks.
Nationally – as of July 22, 2022 – 2,891 cases have been confirmed with no deaths reported. While this is the first reported case in MS, it is likely that other cases will be identified.
Transmission can occur through close skin-to-skin contact – kissing, hugging or sex – with an infected person. Transmission can also occur by touching an infected person’s clothing or clothing, bedding or towels, or by inhaling respiratory droplets during prolonged close contact with an infected person. According to the State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers, “While anyone can get monkeypox, many of the cases identified in the U.S. and global outbreak have been among men who have sex with men.”
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. Symptoms may start as fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache and muscle aches, followed by a rash that starts as flat and then turns into pimples, or blisters and ulcers on the face, body and private parts (sexual organs) . The rash may be itchy and painful. It can be confused with sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and herpes, or chickenpox.
The illness usually lasts two to four weeks. Sometimes, people first have a rash, followed by other symptoms. Others experience only a rash.
The Mississippi State Department of Health has received limited doses of vaccine to be used to treat those individuals identified by the MSDH as having been exposed to a case of monkeypox.
Medical providers are encouraged to consider monkeypox infection and notify MSDH when evaluating patients with rash, especially if there are known risk factors.
Follow MSDH by email and social media at HealthyMS.com/connect.
Press Contact: MSDH Office of Communications, (601) 576-7667
Note to the media: After hours or during emergencies, call (601) 576-7400
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