RALEIGH, N.C. — Health officials are reporting the first case of monkeypox virus infection in a North Carolina resident.
The case was positively identified by testing at the State Laboratory of Public Health.
Officials say monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms including swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over.
The illness could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus (chickenpox) and most infections last two to four weeks, according to a news release.
The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services is working closely with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, local health departments and the patient’s health care providers to identify and notify anyone who may have been in contact with the patient while they were infectious.
Officials say monkeypox is typically spread by skin-to-skin contact.
The infected person is currently isolating at home and no further information will be shared on them to protect their privacy, according to a news release.
Since May, officials say 3,308 monkeypox cases have been identified outside of endemic regions worldwide, with 156 cases identified in the United States.
There have been no deaths related to this outbreak, according to a news release.
“The number of monkeypox cases has been growing in the U.S. and globally,” said Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist and Epidemiology Section Chief. “Though this is the first confirmed case in North Carolina, we know there are likely other cases in the state. We are encouraging doctors to consider this in people who have a rash or skin lesion that looks like monkeypox.”
Health officials say monkeypox is transmitted person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions.
People can take basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox.
If you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms, see your health care provider — if you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you.
Keep the rash covered and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been checked out.
Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective at cleaning environmental surfaces and linens.
More information can be found on the CDC website: