A presumed case of monkeypox has popped up in Virginia — joining a list of states that have seen the viral disease.
The most recent case is now one of ten, with the others identified in California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Utah and Washington, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The adult patient — who was tested by a state lab — is located in northern Virginia and recently returned from an undisclosed African country where the disease is endemic, according to the Virginia Department of Health.
Her close contacts are being monitored and no additional cases have been detected. She is not requiring hospitalization and is self-isolating at home, state officials said.
The results will be confirmed by the CDC.
“Monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States. The patient is currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public,” State Health Commissioner Dr. Colin M. Greene said in a statement.
“Transmission requires close contact with someone with symptomatic monkeypox, and this virus has not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population.”
The statement added that the state’s health department “is monitoring national and international trends and has notified medical providers in Virginia to watch for monkeypox cases and report them to their local health district as soon as possible.”
A World Health Organization senior official said on Friday that the priority needs to be containing monkeypox in non-endemic countries.
So far, there are more than 200 confirmed or suspected cases in around 20 countries where the virus was not previously circulating.
“We think if we put the right measures in place now we can contain it easily,” said the WHO’s director for Global Infectious Hazard Preparedness, Sylvie Briand.
She urged the general public not to worry since transmission is much slower than other viruses.
WHO officials said that there is no need for mass vaccination at present.
“Case investigation, contact tracing, isolation at home will be your best bets,” said Rosamund Lewis, WHO’s head of the smallpox secretariat, part of the organization’s emergency program.
The CDC released the level-2 alert on Monday, advising people to “practice enhanced precautions” — and warning that it “is fatal in as many as 1 to 11% of people who become infected.”
In its advisory, the CDC emphasized in bold the need to avoid “close contact with sick people, including those with skin lesions or genital lesions” — as well as “contact with dead or live wild animals.”
With Post wires