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NH identifies first probable case of monkeypox

The DHHS is working to identify others who may have been exposed.

CONCORD, N.H. — The first probable case of the monkeypox virus in New Hampshire has likely been identified by the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday, according to a news release issued by the DHHS.

Information about the patient was not released to respect the patient's privacy, though the release does note they are a resident of Rockingham County.

Initial testing of the case was done by New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conducting the confirmatory testing, the release says.

DHHS is working to identify others who may have been exposed.

“The first probable case of monkeypox in New Hampshire has been identified," DHHS Chief Medical Officer Dr. Jonathan Ballard said in the release. "While this is a concerning development, the risk to the general public is very low. We are investigating this situation to determine whether additional people may have been exposed.”

According to the release, monkeypox is in the same family as smallpox and can include the following symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Exhaustion
  • Muscle aches
  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Swollen lymph nodes

Additionally, a few days after symptoms begin a skin rash or skin spots may develop that can change over time.

"People with monkeypox are contagious until all skin lesions have scabbed over and fallen off a person’s skin," the release says. "The illness usually lasts for 2-4 weeks."

DHHS advises in the release that anyone who experiences the above symptoms accompanied by a new skin rash or skin spots should contact their health care provider.

According to the release, monkeypox testing should be considered if the skin rash and symptoms occurred:

  • Within a few weeks after traveling to another country where monkeypox is being reported.
  • After close contact to a person who has a similar skin rash, or who is suspected or confirmed to have monkeypox.
  • After intimate physical or sexual contact with a partner, especially after intimate/sexual contact that occurred during travel.

As of June 27, the CDC has identified a total of 224 monkeypox cases in 26 states, the release reports.

No monkeypox deaths have been reported in the U.S.

In regard to the increase in monkeypox cases, U.S. officials have decided to expand the group of people advised to get the monkeypox vaccine on Tuesday

The two-dose Jynneos vaccine has been approved and is available in the U.S. to fight against the virus. So far, over 9,000 doses of Jynneos have been deployed, with the intent to deploy over one million more in the coming months.

For more information about the monkeypox outbreak in the U.S., click here.

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