First monkeypox case identified in Arkansas

Published: Jul. 5, 2022 at 5:17 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (WMC) - The Arkansas Department of Health has identified the first case of monkeypox in the state.

“Arkansas has been monitoring cases of monkeypox in the U.S.,” said Dr. Jennifer Dillaha. “While this news is concerning, monkeypox is not as contagious as other viruses, like COVID-19. We encourage anyone who feels they may have been exposed to monkeypox to please contact their health care provider and be tested.”

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle pain and a painful rash that can occur 7-14 days after exposure.

Monkeypox can be transmitted through direct skin contact, bodily fluids or contaminated items such as clothing. However, it is an airborne illness.

The first case of monkeypox in the U.S. was discovered in May. The disease is endemic in parts of Africa, where people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals. It does not usually spread easily among people.

The World Health Organization says smallpox vaccinations also help protect against Monkeypox.

There have been no U.S. deaths and officials say the risk to the American public is low.

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