Additional ‘presumed cases’ of monkeypox identified in parts of Virginia

The Virginia Department of Health identified five more cases of presumed monkeypox in the state.

This brings the total number of cases to eight since May 2022. Several countries, including the U.S., are reporting cases of the virus. As of Wednesday, the latest Centers for Disease Control and Prevention numbers show 351 cases in the U.S., not including the latest Virginia cases — Maryland has five cases and D.C. has 21.

The newest cases in Virginia include three men in Northern Virginia, one man in eastern Virginia and one man in southwestern Virginia. They are currently isolating, VDH said in a news release.

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, rather than close, contact with an infected individual. 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, call your doctor. Few hospitalizations and one death have been reported globally in this outbreak thus far, VDH said.

There is no approved treatment for monkeypox in the U.S., but some treatment options may be beneficial. There are vaccines available, and VDH said the federal government is expanding access to them for at-risk individuals, as well as making testing more convenient.

“VDH is actively working with our federal partners to make these services more accessible for Virginians,” the news release said.

Earlier this week, D.C. announced that it was making a limited amount of vaccinations available to residents who are most at risk. The slots all filled up within minutes of the announcement.

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Abigail Constantino

Abigail Constantino started her journalism career writing for a local newspaper in Fairfax County, Virginia. She is a graduate of American University and The George Washington University.

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