Orange County reports first case of monkeypox

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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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The Orange County Health Department said Friday that it has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the county.

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Orange County Health Department said Wednesday that it has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the county.

The health department has opened a contact investigation to notify close contacts and provide guidance on signs, symptoms, testing, treatment and vaccination.

To protect patient privacy, no additional information about the affected person was shared.

Nearly 13,000 cases of monkeypox have been identified in the United States. There have been 188 cases in North Carolina.

"We have been preparing for a case of monkeypox and now that it is here, we want our community to be aware of this disease so that those at risk can seek medical care and get tested promptly if they have symptoms," said Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over.

Anyone can be infected by monkeypox, which is spread primarily via skin-to-skin contact. Nearly every case, however, has involved men who have sex with other men.

Jynneos, a vaccine used to prevent monkeypox illness or to lessen the severity of symptoms is available to eligible people:

Those eligible include those who have had close contact with someone with monkeypox within the last two weeks, gay or bisexual men or transgender people who report any of the following in the last 90 days:

  • A medical history that includes testing or concern for sexually transmitted infection
  • Proactively engaged in HIV prevention, including a prescription for PrEP
  • Having multiple possible exposures through sex

Residents who have been in contact with someone with a confirmed case of monkeypox or are experiencing symptoms should contact their primary care provider or the local health department. The Orange County Health Department may be reached at (919) 245-2400.

Find out more at the Orange County Health Department Monkeypox Page, the CDC's monkeypox page or check out the United States Case County Map for Monkeypox.