The Virginia Department of Health said Monday that another presumed case of monkeypox has been identified in the commonwealth, bringing the total number to 27.
The patient is a man from Northwestern Virginia who is isolating, VDH said. The health agency added that no further information will be provided, in order to protect patient privacy, and that it is identifying and monitoring the patient’s close contacts.
Three deaths have been reported globally, VDH said. As of July 8, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 8,238 cases of monkeypox identified in 57 countries; 790 cases were reported in the U.S.
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, seek medical care from your health care provider immediately, especially if you are in one of the following groups, per VDH:
- Those who have had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with monkeypox;
- Those who have had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network 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 suspected or known orthodox or monkeypox virus 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.).
VDH said the federal government is expanding monkeypox vaccination access for individuals at risk and working to make testing more convenient for health care providers and patients across the country.
“VDH is actively working with its federal partners to make these services more accessible for Virginians,” the agency said.
WTOP’s Abigail Constantino contributed to this report.