Mississippi had its first reported case of monkeypox in the state on July 25, according to the Mississippi State Department of Health.
And while a case was confirmed, the health department didn’t reveal what part of the state the virus was found in but said others may have come in contact with the infected person. The MSDH is only aware of one case, it remains likely that other cases will be identified as well, a press release from the health department read.
As of July 22, 2,891 cases have been confirmed nationwide. No deaths have been reported. Globally, there have been more than 16,500 confirmed cases of monkeypox.
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What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses as smallpox, according to the CDC. Symptoms are similar to smallpox, but milder. The disease is rarely fatal.
How do you contract monkeypox?
The CDC says the virus can spread from person-to-person through:
- direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids
- respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact
- touching items like clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
What are the symptoms of monkeypox?
Infection may begin with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion before a rash appears. However, many cases in this year’s outbreak have reported very mild or no symptoms other than a rash, the release said.
“The rash can be itchy and painful. It can be confused with sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and herpes, or with chickenpox,” an MSDH news release stated.
Monkeypox can spread from the first symptoms to the rash has fully healed and a new layer of skin has formed, according to the CDC. Most people recover in 2-4 weeks.
Symptoms can take up to 21 days to appear after exposure, so contacts of those with monkeypox are monitored for several weeks. More information on monkeypox can be found at cdc.gov/monkeypox.
More information:Monkeypox is in the US: Here’s what you need to know.
Is there a monkeypox vaccine?
More than 1.6 million vaccines to combat monkeypox will be released in the United States throughout the rest of the year, federal health officials announced last month. Anyone possibly exposed to the virus is encouraged to get vaccinated.
As of July 22, 300,000 doses of vaccines for monkeypox have been shipped out across the country, said Ashish Jha, White House COVID-19 response coordinator. Overall, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has made 374,000 vaccine doses available for ordering and delivered over 191,000 of those doses to state and city health departments for free, HHS said July 21.
Mississippi has been allocated 591 doses of the monkeypox vaccine, according to the Administration for Strategic Preparedness and Response.
The MSDH has received limited doses of vaccine that will be used to treat those individuals identified by MSDH as exposed to a case of monkeypox.
Gabe Hauari, Lici Beveridge and USA Today contributed to this story.