Chemung County Resident Positive For Monkeypox

June 27, 2022

ELMIRA – According to Chemung County Executive Christopher Moss, the Chemung County Health Department has confirmed a resident of the county testing positive for monkeypox.

Moss says the health department is working with the State Department of Health, Centers For Disease Control, and the person’s health care provider to ensure they receive the proper care. The patient is said to have a recent history of travel and is isolating at this time. Moss says there is no danger to the public at this time.

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First identified in 1970, monkeypox is a virus typically isolated to areas of central and west Africa, however has been appearing in urban areas more. The first monkeypox outbreak in the United States of America was in 2003, and was linked to contact with infected pet prairie dogs. While initially spread from animals to humans, human to human transmission is possible in a number of ways. This includes direct contact with infectious rash, scabs or bodily fluids, respiratory secretions during prolonged face to face contact, or close intimate contact such as kissing or sexual activity. Additionally, transmission is possible through contact with infected clothing or linens.

According to the CDC, monkeypox is rare and not easily transmitted without close personal contact. The agency says the risk to the general public is considered low.

The virus can be spread from the onset of symptoms until scabs are healed and a fresh layer of skin is formed. This can last anywhere from two to four weeks. Those who do not have symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. Those symptoms include fever, body ache, headache, chills, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes, and most noticeably a rash that looks like pimples or blisters on the face, mouth, or other parts of the body.

Those who have as unexplained rash or have risk factors making them susceptible to monkeypox are encouraged to contact their health care provider.

For more information on monkeypox, visit the CDC website here.