News Release from Orange County Health Department
HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. August 17, 2022 ― The Orange County Health Department (OCHD) has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in Orange County. The case has been in direct communication with the Orange County Health Department communicable disease team and has been referred to isolate per recommendations set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). OCHD has opened a contact investigation to notify close contacts and provide guidance on signs, symptoms, testing, treatment and vaccination. To protect patient privacy, no additional information about this individual will be shared.
Nearly 13,000 cases of monkeypox have been identified in the United States. OCHD continues to work closely with state and national partners to monitor the current national outbreak and respond within Orange County.
“We have been preparing for a case of monkeypox and now that it is here, we want our community to be aware of this disease so that those at risk can seek medical care and get tested promptly if they have symptoms,” said Orange County Health Director Quintana Stewart.
Anyone can be infected by monkeypox regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity or any other identity.
If an Orange County community member has been in contact with a confirmed case of monkeypox or are experiencing symptoms, they should contact their primary care provider or the local health department. Orange County Health Department may be reached at (919) 245-2400.
Jynneos is a vaccine used to prevent monkeypox illness or to lessen the severity of symptoms in individuals recently exposed to monkeypox. The eligibility criteria for the vaccine are individuals who:
- Have had close contact with someone with Monkeypox within the last two weeks.
- Are gay or bisexual men or transgender individuals who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
- A medical history that includes testing or concern for sexually transmitted infection
- Proactively engaged in HIV prevention, including a prescription for PrEP
- Having multiple possible exposures through sex
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. According to the CDC, symptoms include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
The CDC recommends the following practices to protect yourself from monkeypox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
- Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
- Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
- Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
- Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Anyone can get monkeypox. If you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms, contact your healthcare provider. Keep the rash covered and avoid sex or being intimate with anyone until you have been evaluated by a medical provider.