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CRMC Still At One Monkeypox Case After First Reported Wednesday

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
CRMC Still At One Monkeypox Case After First Reported Wednesday

Monkeypox has made its first Upper Cumberland appearance after a patient at CRMC was confirmed with the virus.

CRMC Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mark Pierce said monkeypox is closely related to the smallpox virus, but not as severe.

“People that are exposed, we think the incubation period is like from five days to two weeks,” Pierce said. “And they’ll begin to get fever, sometimes they get muscle aches, their lymph nodes may swell, they may get a headache. And then these lesions appear, these pustular lesions.”

Pierce said the earliest case was reported in the 1950s and that there have been multiple monkeypox cases reported over the years. He said once it was thought that smallpox was eradicated and the vaccine not widely administered after the 80s, some cases were reported as smallpox that later turned out to be monkeypox.

While not as contagious as COVID or the flu, Pierce said monkeypox spreads from extremely close contact. It doesn’t have to be intimate contact, but will commonly spread if contact is made with a pustule or even respiratory.

“Because when the virus initially infects the person it kind of goes through the whole body,” Pierce said. “Like close face-to-face contact for a prolonged period of time, you could get it that way. The first 500 cases they looked at it, 98 percent of those were with men who had sex with men. So that was probably from direct contact from infected pustules. Again it’s not nearly as easy to transmit as COVID. The majority of cases have been in that particular group or close household contact.”

Pierce said a vaccine has been developed based on the smallpox vaccines. He said the Putnam County Health Department currently has doses of the monkeypox vaccine to administer.


The post CRMC Still At One Monkeypox Case After First Reported Wednesday appeared first on News Talk 94.1/AM 1600.