MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are now four presumptive cases of monkeypox in Shelby County as of Tuesday, August 2, 2022, according to the health department.
Officials with the Shelby County Health Department said the four people are isolating at their homes, and the department is working to reach out to close contacts who may have been exposed so they can get tested or vaccinated.
The Tennessee Department of Health is handling distribution of the JYNNEOS monkeypox vaccine in the state. It is given to regional and county health departments only on an as-needed basis and in a limited quantity.
Only people with the following conditions can get the vaccine in Tennessee:
- Known contacts identified by the health department through investigation, contact tracing, and risk exposure assessments.
- Had a sexual partner diagnosed with monkeypox in the past 14 days.
- Had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days in an area with a known monkeypox outbreak.
Symptoms and of monkeypox
So what can a person expect to experience?
Fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion can happen before a possible rash. Health officials said many of the cases in this 2022 outbreak have reported very mild or no symptoms other than the rash.
For most, recovery takes about two to four weeks. But it can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and those who are pregnant.
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How does monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox falls in the same family of viruses as smallpox. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said it can spread the following ways:
- Direct contact with infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.
- Prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
- Touching items such as clothing or linens that had previous contact with the infectious rash or body fluids.
- From a pregnant person to the fetus through the placenta.
The virus can be transmitted from the times symptoms start until the rash is fully healed with a new layer of skin. Contacts are monitored for several weeks, as it can take as many as 21 days after exposure for symptoms to develop.
For more information about monkeypox, visit the following online resources:
- Tennessee Department of Health Monkeypox Page: https://www.tn.gov/health/cedep/reportable-diseases/monkeypox.html
- CDC Monkeypox Page: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/index.html
- CDC Guidance for Health Care Professionals: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/clinicians/what-hcps-should-know.html