First case of monkeypox reported in Shelby County, health department says

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. — Shelby County has reported its first case of monkeypox.

The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) reported the county’s first monkeypox case on Monday, July 25.

The health department said that testing on the case was done by American Esoteric Laboratories.

SCHD said that they are working with the patient’s health care provider to identify people who may have been in contact with this person while they were infectious.

According to the CDC, monkeypox spreads from person to person through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids, respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or intimate physical contact.

Monkeypox can also be spread through touching items that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids and pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention said.

Monkeypox infections usually begin with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion before the developing rash, SCDH said.

The virus can be spread from the time symptoms start until the time when the rash has fully healed, SCHD said. Most people recover in between two and four weeks, according to the health department.

Most of the nearly 3,000 cases reported during the recent outbreak in the United States have been mild or resulted in no symptoms at all, but monkeypox can be very serious in rare instances, especially for immunocompromised people, children and those who are pregnant, the Shelby County Health Department said.

The health department said that people who do not have symptoms of monkeypox can not spread the virus to others. According to the health department, it can take as long as 21 days after exposure for symptoms to develop.

Part of a release from the Shelby County Health Department reads:

The public is advised to be alert for the appearance of any new rashes characterized by sores, bumps, or fluid-filled bumps and seek medical evaluation from their primary care physician or health care provider if they have symptoms or concerns. An effective vaccine against monkeypox exists, but at this time there, is no recommendation for vaccination for those with no known exposure to confirmed cases, and the vaccine is not available to the general public at this time.

RELATED: First case of Monkeypox reported in Mississippi, health department says

The announcement of Shelby County’s first confirmed case came on the same day that the Mississippi State Department of Health announced Mississippi’s first confirmed case of monkeypox in a Mississippi resident, though it is not known if there is any connection between those two cases.

According to the CDC, prior to Tuesday’s confirmed cases, three cases had been reported in Arkansas and 15 had been reported in Tennessee.

Click here for more information from the Tennessee Depart of Health on monkeypox.

Click here for information from the CDC on monkeypox or click here for CDC guidance to health care professionals.