First case of monkeypox reported in Alabama

Officials with the Alabama Department of Public Health say the first case of monkeypox is now in Alabama.

ADPH officials say the virus infection was reported by the Mobile County Health Department.

Officials say there have been approximately 1,470 cases identified in 44 states and more are expected.

Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person, according to health officials. But close, intimate, skin-to-skin contact appears to be the primary mode of transmission in the current global outbreak. It is possible that contact with materials used by infected persons, such as clothing and linens, can be a way to contract the virus. The virus typically enters the body through broken skin, respiratory droplets, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).

Symptoms in this most current outbreak have not been as typical as in previous cases of monkeypox. ADPH say people will have a rash that starts out as flat spots, followed by raised spots, then vesicles that are deep-seated, have a tiny spot in the middle of the vesicle, and may be itchy or painful.

The rash may only be on one part of the body. Some people may only have the rash and not develop other symptoms such as fever, flu-like illness, headache, muscle aches, or fatigue.

The time between exposure to the virus and when the illness begins is about 7-14 days but can be as long as 21 days. Some people who have had monkeypox have been men who have sex with men, but any person exposed to a person with monkeypox and close skin-to-skin contact can be infected.

Steps to help prevent monkeypox include the following:
·        Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has monkeypox.
·        Do not handle or touch the bedding, clothing, or towels of a person who has monkeypox.
·        Have persons with monkeypox isolate away from others.
·        Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after contact with ill people who have monkeypox.
·        Avoid contact with animals that could have the virus (such as animals that are sick or that have been found dead).

ADPH says if you think you might have monkeypox, reach out to your healthcare provider immediately.

For more information about monkeypox, click here.

Categories: Montgomery Metro, News, Statewide