Officials say monkeypox cases on rise in Nashville area

Limited supply of monkeypox vaccine
Limited supply of monkeypox vaccine
Published: Jul. 28, 2022 at 10:42 AM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) -Monkeypox concerns are growing as the number of cases in the Nashville area climb.

Metro Public Health Department officials announced Thursday there have been 11 presumptive cases of monkeypox reported in the Nashville/Davidson County area in 2022. The health department said the number of cases reported has grown by five in the last week, but three of the 11 people diagnosed with monkeypox in the area have recovered and are no longer in isolation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) considers monkeypox a rare disease in the same family of viruses as smallpox, the health department said in a media release.

“Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal,” the release said. “The monkeypox virus can spread from person-to-person through: direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact touching items like clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids.”

According to the CDC, infection may begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion before the development of a rash. Many of the cases associated with the 2022 outbreak have reported very mild or no symptoms other than a rash. People should look out for the appearance of new rashes characterized by sores, bumps or fluid filled bumps and contact their primary care provider if they have questions.

The CDC reports that monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Most people recover in a few weeks, but the disease can be serious in rare instances, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and those who are pregnant.

Laboratory testing can detect the presence of the orthopox infection. The Centers for Disease Control confirms the infection, according to health officials.

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