First suspected case of monkeypox in Georgia confirmed by CDC

Combined ShapeCaption
CDC ramps up monkeypox alert , to level 2 .The Center for Disease Control and Prevention raised the level of alert concerning monkeypox June 6.Known global cases of the virus have exceeded 1,000 across 29 countries.An alert level of three, the highest level, would recommend against travel that is nonessential.The agency is encouraging the public to “practice enhanced precautions” to curb the spread of the virus.New guidance issued from the CDC recommends that individuals avoid close contact with other infected people and infected animals.According to reporting on the new guidance, those with visible skin legions could be more infectious. .According to the World Health Organization, the virus has been circulating undetected for “weeks, months or possibly a couple of years.”.Experts say that the ease of international travel is likely a significant reason as to why the virus has spread.Diseases that were locally spread are now able to make their way across countries and continents much more easily, Professor Eyal Leshem, Sheba Medical Center, via CNBC.Meanwhile, interaction between humans and animals has also amplified. , Professor Eyal Leshem, Sheba Medical Center, via CNBC.Experts also say climate change has likely played a role in the speed at which the virus has spread.Climate change has forced some animals into closer contact with humans, you will see more of these types of diseases, Professor Eyal Leshem, Sheba Medical Center, via CNBC.Monkeypox infections are considered rare and the threat to the general public remains low.Symptoms of the virus include headache, fever, swelling, back-pain and muscle ache

The Georgia Department of Public Health on Monday confirmed a man earlier suspected of having monkeypox is positive for the virus.

DPH said last week a man who lives in metro Atlanta with a history of international travel had shown symptoms, but more testing was needed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the case. The Georgia man had tested positive for orthopoxvirus, which is a family of viruses monkeypox belongs to — further tests were needed to confirm he has monkeypox.

The man was ordered into isolation where public health officials are monitoring his symptoms, according to DPH. The agency is also tracing his recent contacts, but said there are no other suspected cases in the state at this time.

This is the first-ever confirmed case of monkeypox in Georgia, according to DPH. State officials said they wouldn’t be surprised to see more cases here and in other states, but emphasized the overall risk to the general public is low, and nothing like coronavirus.

“At this point, monkeypox is not something that is spreading like COVID. What we know is that monkeypox spreads in a way that requires very close, prolonged contact,” said DPH spokeswoman Nancy Nydam.

The CDC is tracking 25 confirmed cases of monkeypox or the related “orthopoxvirus” in the U.S. including Georgia’s case.

The CDC said Friday that new genetic sequencing data indicates there are at least two distinct monkeypox outbreaks taking place outside Africa, a finding that suggests the spread is wider and has been happening longer than previously realized.

Combined ShapeCaption
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

Credit: Uncredited

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak.  (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

Credit: Uncredited

Combined ShapeCaption
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

CDC officials said Friday most of the cases have been among men who have sex with men, but anyone can be infected through close contact with a sick person, their clothing or bedsheets. Newly reported cases include a woman who had traveled to West Africa, according to the CDC.

Currently, there is no specific treatment approved for monkeypox virus infections. However, antivirals developed for use in patients with smallpox may prove beneficial, according to the CDC. The federal government keeps a stockpile of vaccine that can be used to prevent an infection.

CDC officials said they are shipping Jynneos monkeypox vaccine to about 10 states that requested it. It would only be administered to a small number of Americans considered at high risk for the disease.

Nydam said Georgia has the ability to request and receive the vaccine quickly, but “active investigation has not identified the need for vaccine or antivirals, as of now.”

The virus is spread through close contact with people, animals or material infected with the virus. It enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, the eyes, nose, and mouth, according to the CDC. It also can be spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact. Monkeypox can spread during intimate contact between people, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, or touching parts of the body with monkeypox sores.

Early symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, back pain, muscle aches and low energy. The virus can go on to cause rash and lesions on the face or genitals. The lesions or papules, become blisters filled with white fluid.

The incubation period for monkeypox — the time from infection to symptoms — is usually seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days.