Barren River District reports first probable case of monkeypox

Though details about the patient are being kept confidential for privacy concerns, The Barren...
Though details about the patient are being kept confidential for privacy concerns, The Barren River District has its first probable case of monkeypox.(wbko)
Published: Jul. 27, 2022 at 8:08 PM CDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Currently, there are over 3,500 confirmed monkeypox cases across the country, six of which are in Kentucky.

Now, though details about the patient are being kept confidential for privacy concerns, The Barren River District has its first probable case of monkeypox.

“There was a case that will be considered a probable case here in the Barren River District Health Department until CDC testing is final,” said Bethany Kinney, a registered nurse with the Barren River Health Department. “But probable cases are presumed to be monkeypox cases at this time.”

In the same family as the smallpox virus, monkeypox can spread from others that are infected and contaminated materials.

“Monkeypox is spread from person to person. It can be through close skin-to-skin contact, it can be through respiratory droplets, it can be through touching objects or surfaces that have been contaminated with somebody who has monkeypox.”

Monkeypox is characterized by “flu-like symptoms” like fever and swollen lymph nodes as well as a rash and skin lesions.

“If you have a rash, and you believe that you feel like you might have monkeypox or maybe you’ve been exposed to monkeypox, you should stay home isolated away from other people and get in touch with your healthcare provider.”

Usually found in Central and West Africa, the disease has now made its way to several countries, including the United States.

“So monkeypox is a virus that is not commonly seen in the United States,” Kinney said. “There’s been an ongoing outbreak of cases in the US and quite a few other countries for sometime this year.”

Kinney said though numbers are up, the public shouldn’t be concerned.

“People with monkeypox in the current outbreak have generally reported sustained physical contact with other people who have monkeypox. So, at this point, although there is an increased number of monkeypox cases, the risk to the general US population is considered low.”

Overall, Kinney said the public response to the COVID-19 pandemic should prove that we can make it through anything.

“I think that we have shown through the last two years, that we can do hard things. And I think that we’ll continue to do that.”

Kinney added that while vaccines are available, they are currently reserved for those who have been exposed to monkeypox.

More information on monkeypox can be found on the CDC’s website.

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