ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The first probable case of monkeypox is being reported in St. Louis County.
The St. Louis County Department of Public Health the first probable case is from a man who lives in the county. Officials did not release information on his age or recent travel history.
A case investigation conducted by the department of public health concluded that the disease was transmitted during intercourse with a person who later tested positive for monkeypox.
Health officials are working to identify individuals with whom the patient may have been in contact
while infectious. The patient did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home in good condition
Monkeypox (clinically referred to as orthopox) is in the same family of viruses as smallpox. Its symptoms are similar, though milder, to smallpox. It is important to know monkeypox can be fatal in rare instances. There are long-established vaccines and treatments for those infected.
According to the CDC, the monkeypox virus was discovered in 1958 in monkeys being kept for research. While the name of the virus is derived from its discovery, the actual source of monkeypox is unknown.
The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970, in a child living in a remote rainforest of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
Monkeypox symptoms will present anywhere between seven and 14 days after exposure. The disease itself lasts two to four weeks.
Symptoms include fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, muscle ache, backache, chills, and exhaustion. Pimple or blister-like rashes will appear on an infected person’s face or inside their mouth and eventually spread across the body.
The virus can spread from the time symptoms first appear until the rashes themselves have fully healed.
Monkeypox is spread through person-to-person contact, including (but not limited to):
- Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids;
- Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex; and
- Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.
Infected pregnant people can also spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.