Monkeypox arrives in Louisville; officials explain what’s next
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The CDC said it is tracking cases of monkeypox to places where it usually does not find the disease. That now includes Louisville.
In a three-page notice on Friday, the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services (CHFS) reported what it described as the “first probable case of monkeypox in Kentucky.”
Offering few details, the Cabinet said “the patient remains isolated, and health officials are working to identify anyone the patient may have had close contact with while infectious.”
“The majority of cases, if not all cases, have been attached to or attributed to sexual contact,” Dr. Paul Schulz, Norton Healthcare Epidemiologist said. “So right now, if you’re not a man who has sex with men, the risk is low but that remains to be seen. That could change.”
The CHFS notice emphasized “risk to the general public remains low.”
Monkeypox was first identified in humans in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. As of Friday, the CDC counted 4,106 cases in 47 countries. At the same time in the U.S., the CDC counted 200 cases.
The disease starts off as a fever, then days later, the patient develops a painful rash and sores that could take weeks to go away.
“They raise up like a bump,” UofL Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Mark Burns said. “And then after a few days they become what we call vesicular, it’s kind of a see-through, it looks like there may be clear fluids. And then a few days after that it becomes what we call pustular.”
For anyone developing symptoms, the state recommends:
- Visit a medical provider for an evaluation
- Cover the area of the rash with clothing
- Wear a mask
- Avoid skin-to-skin or close contact with others
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