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Monkeypox detected in Niagara County, risk to general public currently low

Africa Monkeypox
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jul 25, 2022

LOCKPORT, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Niagara County Department of Health announced it was informed by the NYS Wadsworth Center Laboratory on Monday that monkeypox was detected in the county.

According to a release, the NCDOH has interviewed the individual and concluded that no additional contacts exist.

The NCDOH provided the following information on monkeypox:

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness but may result in hospitalization or death. People with monkeypox in the current outbreak generally report having close, sustained physical contact with other people who have monkeypox. Less common routes of transmission include respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact or contact with contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding. While many of those affected in the current outbreaks are men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.

Monkeypox has an incubation time of one to three weeks after exposure and typically lasts two to four weeks. The illness typically starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. A rash will develop one to three days after the onset of illness. The rash can look like pimples or blisters that can appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The rash starts as flat, red bumps, which can be painful, before turning into blisters and finally scabbing over.

Adrienne Kasbaum, Niagara County Department of Health Director of Nursing, released the following statement:

“Monkeypox is primarily spread by close contact and exposure to an infected person’s skin lesions, other bodily fluids, or respiratory droplets. Anyone in close skin to skin contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone who develops a new, unexplained rash on any part of the body should seek medical attention immediately and avoid contact with others. Unlike respiratory viruses that spread through exposure to infected respiratory aerosols or droplets, the general public is not at risk of exposure through usual everyday activities."

There are now 1,111 monkeypox cases statewide, the majority are in the NYC area. Five of them are in Western New York with four cases in Erie County and one in Niagara County. The first case of monkeypox in the Western New York region came on July 13 when the Erie County Department of Health announced monkeypox was detected in an Erie County resident.

You can find more information on monkeypox on the New York State Department of Health website here.

NYS health officials provided an update on monkeypox last week, you can view the 7 News report on that update here.