HealthNewsThe NorthSider

Probable case of monkeypox being investigated in the city; would be fourth in Missouri

CDC previously identified three cases in Missouri

ST. LOUIS – Monkeypox has already infiltrated the state, and now probably St. Louis, as the city’s health officials report what they suspect is the first case among residents here.

The St. Louis Department of Health is awaiting confirmation of the diagnosis from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Health officials think the affected person contracted the virus during recent travel outside Missouri. An investigation has find that the person has had minimal contact with the public, and any potential close contacts have been notified.

“Through this individual’s cooperation with the Department of Health, we believe their minimal contact with other individuals will help contain the spread of this virus within our community,” Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, the city’s health director, said in a statement. “At the same time, it is important that if anyone develops symptoms of monkeypox, they should contact their medical provider immediately and avoid direct contact with others.”

The monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. Symptoms of monkeypox can include:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches and backache
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • chills
  • exhaustion
  • a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body such as the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Some people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms; other people experience only a rash.

The virus can spread from when symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. It can spread through person-to-person contact, including: 

  • direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

Additional information on monkeypox is available on CDC’s website on the virus [www.cdc.gov].

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