St. Louis has its first probable case of monkeypox, the city's health department says.
In a statement Tuesday morning, the health department reported the possible case and that it was awaiting confirmation from the Centers of Disease Control. The patient likely contracted the virus during recent travels out of state. An investigation by the health department shows the patient had little contact with the public, and any close contacts have been notified.
“Through this individual’s cooperation with the Department of Health, we believe their minimal contact with other individuals will help contain the spread of this virus within our community,” Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, director of health for the City of St. Louis, said in the statement. “At the same time, it is important that if anyone develops symptoms of monkeypox, they should contact their medical provider immediately and avoid direct contact with others.”
We have identified a probable confirmed case of monkeypox in our area and are awaiting confirmation from the @CDCgov. An investigation indicates that the individual likely contracted the disease while traveling.— CityofSTLDOH (@CityofSTLDOH) July 12, 2022
At this time, the risk to the public is low.
Monkeypox is a virus in the same family as smallpox and is unrelated to the chickenpox. Symptoms can include a fever, headache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, muscle aches and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth or other body parts. The illness can last two to four weeks, and some may get the rash before other symptoms develop or only have the rash.
The virus is spread through contact with the infectious rash, "respiratory secretions" during prolonged face-to-face contact with others or during intimacy and touching items that previously touched the rash such as cloths. Pregnant people can spread the virus through the placenta to their fetus.
Currently, Missouri has identified three previous cases of monkeypox. The United States has a total of 866 cases.