1st Case Of Monkeypox Identified In Lincoln County

LINCOLN CO., N.C. — The Lincoln County Health Department has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the county.

Health officials say monkeypox is a potentially serious but rare virus that is transmitted through close contact with an infected person.

Illness typically begins with flu-like symptoms, such as fatigue, fever and muscle aches, and is followed by a rash that includes bumps that are filled with fluid before scabbing over.

Person-to-person spread can occur through direct contact with body fluids, contaminated items such as linens or clothing and respiratory secretions.

Most infections last two to four weeks and once the rash is fully healed individuals are no longer contagious.

LCHD is currently working with the patient to identify and notify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while they were infectious.

The patient is isolating at home, according to a news release.

Officials say no further information will be shared to protect the privacy of the patient.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), as of August 9th, 2022, 31,425 cases have been confirmed in countries that have not historically reported monkeypox with 9,492 cases occurring in the United States.

There are several ways in which people can protect themselves from monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Avoid intimate contact with someone with monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water frequently or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Vaccine has been prioritized for those individuals who are most at risk for exposure to monkeypox:

  • Anyone who had close contact in the past two weeks with someone who has been diagnosed
    with monkeypox, or
  • Individuals who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
    • Having multiple sex partners or anonymous sex.
    • Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
    • Receiving medications to prevent HIV infection (PrEP).

NCDHHS public health officials are urging North Carolinians to “Get Checked. Get Tested. Get Vaccinated.”

If you feel you have been exposed to someone who has monkeypox, are experiencing an unexplained rash or feel that you are eligible to receive the vaccine, please call Lincoln County Health Department at 704-736-8748.