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Kentucky has reported a probable cases of monkeypox in a Jefferson County resident, the Cabinet for Health and Family Services said Friday.
Testing to confirm the case, which would be a first in Kentucky, is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CHFS said in a statement.
The age and gender of the patient was not included.
Monkeypox is a rare virus that can begin much like the flu. It can include symptoms of fever, lymph node swelling and painful rashes, according to the cabinet.
There were 201 cases in 25 states and the District of Columbia as of Friday, according to CDC data.
"Based on the initial positive test and preliminary case investigation, state health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection," the cabinet said. "The patient remains isolated, and health officials are working to identify anyone the patient may have had close contact with while infectious."
Dr. Steven Stack, the state's public health commissioner, called the case "concerning but not surprising."
"Fortunately, the risk to the general public remains low," he said. "We continue to work closely with CDC and our local health department and healthcare partners to contain the spread of this virus.”
Monkeypox can spread a variety of ways, according to the CDC, including:
direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids;
respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact;
during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex;
touching items like clothes that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids;
pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
People with symptoms should, according to CHFS:
see a doctor;
cover the rash;
wear a mask;
avoid skin-to-skin contact with others.
The Kentucky Department for Public Health had this advice for health care providers:
Monkeypox infection should be considered for patients presenting with skin lesions, especially for those with a history of recent travel to an area with confirmed monkeypox cases or who have close skin-to-skin contact (such as sexual contact) with new or affected partners.
Take note that some patients have had genital lesions and the rash may be hard to distinguish from syphilis, herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, chancroid, varicella zoster, and other more common infections.
Isolate any patients suspected of having monkeypox in a single-person room, and ensure staff understand the importance of wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (gown, gloves, eye protection, and respirator) and that they wear it each time they are near suspected cases.
Use standard cleaning/disinfectants in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and dispose of any materials that touched the patient as medical waste.
Report all suspected monkeypox cases to Public Health immediately.
For more information, visit https://chfs.ky.gov/agencies/dph/dehp/idb/Pages/monkeypox.aspx.
Reach health reporter Sarah Ladd at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter at @ladd_sarah.
This article originally appeared on Louisville Courier Journal: Monkeypox: Louisville Ky resident believed to be Kentucky's 1st case