SCHD reporting 4 presumptive monkeypox cases within the county, officials say

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County Health Department (SCHD) has reported four presumptive monkeypox cases within the county as of Aug. 2, a release said.

The four people are isolated at home and the SCHD is working to reach any close contacts who may have been exposed to offer them testing and/or prophylactic vaccination.

According to a release, the Tennessee Department of Health (TDH) is directing the distribution of all JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccines in Tennessee.

The health department said the vaccine is distributed to regional and county health departments only on an as-needed basis and can only be given to the following:

  • Known contacts who were identified by public health via case investigation, contract tracing, and risk exposure assessments.
  • Presumed contacts who meet the following criteria.
    • Are aware that a sexual partner was diagnosed with monkeypox in the past 14 days
    • Have had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in a jurisdiction with known monkeypox outbreak.

Shelby County Health Department has received a limited supply of Jynneos vaccine to provide to the identified contacts who meet those criteria.

Monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses as smallpox. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the monkeypox virus can spread from person to person through:

  • 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

The health department is asking the public to be 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

For more information about monkeypox, visit the following online resources:

Shelby County Health Department will provide an update on the monkeypox situation in Shelby County each Tuesday on the home page of its website: https://www.shelbytnhealth.com/.