The Health Department for St. Mary’s County, Maryland, reported its first monkeypox infection Monday.
The department said in a release that the resident, who was not identified, is isolating and recovering, and that it’s in the process of contact tracing and notification.
Monkeypox is a potentially serious viral illness, characterized by a specific type of rash.
The risk of contracting monkeypox is very low for those who have been in casual contact with an infected person. Examples of close contact include direct physical contact with the infectious rash, including kissing, cuddling or sex.
Symptoms can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body.
If you have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, seek medical care from your health care provider immediately, especially if you are in one of the following groups, per the Health Department:
- Those who have had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or with someone who was diagnosed with monkeypox.
- Those who have had skin-to-skin contact with a group experiencing monkeypox activity. This includes men who have sex with men.
- Those who traveled to places or attended events where monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the month before symptoms appeared.
- Those who have had contact with household items — such as towels, bedding or clothing — used by a person with a suspected or known infection.
- Those who have had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet from Africa or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.).