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First probable case of monkeypox identified in St. Louis County

This is the third suspected case in the St. Louis area. A person in the City of St. Louis and another in St. Clair County, Illinois, are the other two.

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. — The St. Louis County Health Department said it has identified the county's first probable case of monkeypox.

A press release from the health department said a man tested positive for monkeypox after showing up at a health clinic with symptoms. A health department investigation concluded that the man contracted the disease during sex with a person that later tested positive.

The initial testing was completed on Saturday. The man is in isolation at home and is in good condition.

The health department is working to identify individuals that may have been in close contact with the man while he was infectious.

The health department said anyone who had close contact with the man who also meets the criteria for the vaccine will be offered the monkeypox vaccination.

"At this time, there is no indication of the risk of extensive local spread of the virus," the press release said. It’s important to note that monkeypox does not spread as easily as the COVID-19 virus."

This is the third suspected case in the St. Louis area. A person in the City of St. Louis and another in St. Clair County, Illinois, are the other two.

Symptoms that can be experienced with monkeypox include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that 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 illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.

The virus can spread from the start of symptoms until the rash has fully healed with a fresh layer of skin formed, with the illness typically lasting 2-4 weeks, the department said.

It can spread through person-to-person contact, including the following:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids 
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta  

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