First case of monkeypox confirmed in Jackson-Madison County by health department

·2 min read

The Jackson-Madison County Regional Health Department has announced the first case of monkeypox in the county Thursday afternoon.

The department received the positive test results earlier Thursday, according to a press release, and will be notifying individuals who might have had close contact with the confirmed case while the patient was infectious.

“Monkeypox is spreading throughout the state, and we anticipated getting a case in Madison County,” Regional Director Kim Tedford said. “We encourage people to be vigilant and protect themselves.”

The first case reported in the state of Tennessee occurred in early July in Davidson County.

Monkeypox in Nashville: Officials report first case in Davidson County resident

From USA TODAY: CDC announces changes amid ongoing criticism over responses to COVID-19 and monkeypox

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses that cause smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are also similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal.

A close-up of the monkeypox infection.
A close-up of the monkeypox infection.

The health department states that monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus.

"If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one to four days later," the statement reads. "People with monkeypox get a rash that may be located on or near the genitals or anus and could be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth."

The CDC states monkeypox can spread from person to person through:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or bodily fluids

  • Touching objects, fabrics (bedding, clothing, or towels), and surfaces that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids

  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact

A person with monkeypox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed.

Most patients with monkeypox recover fully within two to four weeks without the need for medical treatment.

Antiviral medication may be recommended for people who are more likely to get severely ill, like patients with weakened immune systems.

Although vaccines are currently available, they are limited, according to the health department. Based on CDC recommendations, the health department is currently only providing vaccines to people who have been in close contact or exposed to someone with monkeypox. Individuals who have had multiple sex partners within the last 14 days, specifically men who have sex with men, are also eligible for vaccination.

The Tennessee Department of Health provides updated monkeypox case counts by region weekly. Find that information and more here.

The CDC has updated information and guidance available online here.

Have a story to tell? Reach Angele Latham by email at alatham@gannett.com, by phone at 731-343-5212, or follow her on Twitter at @angele_latham. 

This article originally appeared on Jackson Sun: Monkeypox: First case confirmed in Jackson-Madison County