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First Monkeypox case in Douglas County detected; authorities say 'not easily transmissible'

Here's what you need to know
Posted at 2:03 PM, Jun 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-27 19:50:10-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — The Douglas County Health Department reported the first Monkeypox case in Nebraska on Monday.

"General population and general community at this point in time, they don't have a lot to worry about in regards to being exposed to Monkeypox," said Justin Frederick of the Douglas County Health Department.

With the first case of Monkeypox reported in Douglas County, the health department said most of us have nothing to worry about.

"I think it is really important to remember that Monkeypox is not easily transmissible. You have to have prolonged contact with somebody who is infected and it is typically skin-to-skin contact," Frederick said.

The health department says the incubation period for Monkeypox is usually between seven and 14 days.

"Symptoms of Monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and rash that can look like pimples or blisters," Frederick said.

Although these symptoms can be similar to other illnesses like COVID-19, Angela Hewlett with Nebraska Medicine said the rash is the difference between the two diseases and can appear anywhere on the body.

"Something to just be aware of though, is this illness does characteristically produce a rash. The rash does evolve in different stages, but it is important that if you do have a new rash, and in particular if you have had contact with anyone with a rash, that you notify your physician or provider," said Hewlett.

The best medical advice: watch for any symptoms.

"At this point in time, I just think remaining vigilant and if you have developed any of the symptoms that we have talked about, make sure you contact your health care provider," Frederick said.

The health department says the individual with Monkeypox is isolated at home and is doing well. It is working to contact-trace anyone who may have been exposed.

And if you went to The CWS, the health department said there is no significant risk to any fans or players.

A live stream of the county health department press conference can be found on our Facebook page or below:

Dr. Lindsay Huse, Health Director, announced the detected case in a press release on Monday morning.

Read the health department statement from Monday below:

"A case of orthopox virus has been confirmed in Douglas County and with further CDC testing underway it is anticipated this will be the county’s first case of monkeypox. The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) says the individual involved is a man in his 30s with a history of international travel.

This person is isolating at home and a contact investigation is underway to inform people who may have been exposed.

Monkeypox is thought to originate in animals which can pass the disease on to people. Human transmission usually involves extended close personal contact or contact with materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin, or the eyes, nose, or mouth. To be safe, avoid sick people or animals and linens that may have been in contact with a sick person or animal.

In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox are like, but milder than, the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion. A rash that looks like pimples or blisters is a common indication a person may have monkeypox.

The main difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell while smallpox does not. The incubation period for monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days but can range from five days to three weeks.

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox, but some antivirals have been used effectively. Some people who have had close personal contact with an infected individual may be a candidate for prophylaxis with a smallpox vaccine. They also should be monitored by public health. If you suspect you have monkeypox, or if you suspect you have been exposed, please contact your health care provider for guidance.

The Health Department Information Line at (402) 444-3400 can also help answer your questions."

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