Monkeypox case confirmed in Connecticut resident
HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) - The Connecticut Department of Public Health announced on Tuesday the first case of monkeypox in a Connecticut resident.
The DPH said it is male patient between the ages of 40 and 49 who lives in New Haven County. He is currently isolating.
Dr. Ulysses Wu spoke about the risks during an interview with Channel 3 on Tuesday afternoon.
The DPH said the patient isolated and has not been hospitalized.
No other patient information will be released, the DPH said.
“DPH believes that the risk to Connecticut residents from this case is low,” said commissioner Manisha Juthani, MD. “The United States is currently experiencing a monkeypox outbreak, and there will likely be additional cases in Connecticut in the weeks ahead. Monkeypox can spread through close prolonged contact with an infected person. This might include coming into contact with skin lesions, or body fluids, sharing clothes or other materials that have been used by an infected person, or inhaling respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact.”
Over the past month, DPH said it has raised awareness of monkeypox among higher risk populations, alerted and educated local medical professionals, and informed local health departments throughout the state to monitor for cases.
For Connecticut residents who are concerned about fever, swollen glands, and a new rash, they can contact their health care providers for evaluation. Health care providers can request orthopoxvirus testing for patients at the state public health laboratory by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program.
Experts said this strain of monkeypox is not highly transmissible, but they say people need to know the signs.
Officials said this strain of the virus originated in Africa, eventually spreading to more than 50 countries with 5,000 cases to date worldwide.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it’s not clear how people were exposed, but the early data from this current outbreak suggests gay and bisexual men make up a high number of cases, but anyone who’s been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk.
With the global outbreak, it’s likely Connecticut will see additional cases in the weeks ahead.
Doctor Albert Ko with the Yale School of Medicine, says monkeypox spreads through close, prolonged contact with an infected person, that includes skin on skin, or even inhaling respiratory droplets and that signs and symptoms include fever and body aches, before developing lesions and blisters on the skin.
“As of yet, there have been less than a handful of deaths that have occurred worldwide. That should reassure people, but on the other hand, what we do worry about is we’re just seeing the type of the iceberg, that people are not realizing the signs and symptoms, they’re not going to the doctor. This is a new disease for us in the United States,” said Ko.
Ko said it’s important to be vigilant, stressing that since it’s not as transmissible as something like COVID.
Isolation is important, along with a vaccine that Ko says can be given to those who’ve been exposed keep them from becoming severely ill.
For more information about monkeypox, visit Monkeypox | Poxvirus | CDC.
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