8 new cases of monkeypox reported in Nashville in past week

Lentz Public Health Center in Nashville
Lentz Public Health Center in Nashville(WSMV)
Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 12:46 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Metro Public Health Department officials confirmed a total of 129 presumptive cases of monkeypox reported in Davidson Cunty, up eight in the past week.

The health department said 88 of the cases have recovered and are no longer in isolation.

Laboratory testing can detect the presence of orthopoxvirus infection. Confirmatory testing is conducted by the CDC.

The Metro Public Health Department Case Investigation team works to identify and reach out to all potential contacts of each case. Contacts are interviewed and their appropriate form of potential treatment is determined.

Health department staff have administered 1,272 doses of vaccine. Currently vaccine eligibility is limited to those who are known contacts of a monkeypox case, those who know their sexual partner had monkeypox in the past 14 days, those who had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days, and men who have sex with men, transgender persons, gender non-binary persons or gender nonconforming persons who answer “yes” to one of the following in the past 90 days:

  • had multiple sex partners or anonymous sex.
  • been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
  • are living with HIV.
  • received PrEP for HIV.

Those who meet the eligibility requirements can schedule a vaccination appointment by calling the communicable disease line at 615-340-5632.

According to the CDC, monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. The CDC states that 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

Although infection may begin with fever, headache, muscle aches and exhaustion before the development of rash, many of the cases associated with the 2022 outbreak have reported very mild or no symptoms other than rash. People should be alert 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 recovered in 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious in rare instances, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and those who are pregnant. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. Contacts are monitored for several weeks, as it can take as many as 21 days after exposure for symptoms to develop.