Here's what to know about monkeypox now that Kentucky has a probable case
On Friday, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services reported the first probable case on monkeypox in Kentucky.
Here's what to know about that case and the illness:
Who is the Kentucky patient?
The patient, whose gender and age have not been made public, is a Jefferson County resident who is isolated while confirmation testing takes place at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
CHFS said health officials "are working to identify anyone the patient may have had close contact with while infectious."
Should I be worried?
"The risk to the general public remains low," public health commissioner Dr. Steven Stack said in a statement.
The CDC reports that "Monkeypox is rare and does not spread easily between people without close contact."
In May, the World Health Organization said a monkeypox pandemic wasn't likely to happen.
"At the moment, we are not concerned about a global pandemic,” Dr. Rosamund Lewis, technical lead on monkeypox for the WHO, told USA Today. “We are concerned that individuals may acquire this infection through high-risk exposure if they don’t have the information they need to protect themselves."
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox, which is not related to chickenpox, is a rare disease first discovered in 1958, according to the CDC, when two outbreaks in research monkeys occurred. In 1970, the first human case was reported.
The source of monkeypox still isn't known, the CDC states, though "African rodents and non-human primates (like monkeys) may harbor the virus and infect people."
A monkeypox illness can last two to four weeks, according to WHO in May, with a case fatality ratio of 3% to 6%.
How does monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox can spread in a variety of ways, according to the CDC, including:
- Direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids;
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact;
- During intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex;
- Touching items such as clothes that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids;
- Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
People with symptoms should, according to CHFS:
- See a doctor;
- Cover the rash;
- Wear a mask;
- Avoid skin-to-skin contact with others.
Reach health reporter Sarah Ladd at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ladd_sarah.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Here's what to know about monkeypox now that Kentucky has a probable case