Monkeypox in Kentucky: What you need to know

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Published: Jun. 27, 2022 at 3:16 PM EDT
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HAZARD, Ky. (WYMT) - Last Friday, public health officials reported Kentucky’s first probable case of Monkeypox.

The positive case is from Jefferson County, and state health officials said they are not releasing more information because of privacy concerns. The patient’s initial test was completed at Kentucky’s Department for Public Health.

”It’s a rare disease that can be spread through close, in-person physical contact including direct contact with Monkeypox sores or scabs,” said Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Fares Khater.

Khater said it starts as a flu-like illness, with headaches, congestion and swollen lymph nodes. He said after several days the patient develops a rash.

”It is a concern, I wouldn’t call it a big concern, but it is a concern,” he added. “It’s an emerging illness what we call it.”

Monkeypox is not as easily transmitted as COVID-19. The CDC reports you can get the disease from close sexual contact or touching items like clothes or bed sheets that have come in contact with an infectious person.

”Transmitted mainly by droplets, and then that’s close contact,” he said. “It’s not airborne yet, we don’t know that, and no cases have been airborne, it’s mainly droplets.”

”This is not a new disease, we already know about Monkeypox, it’s mainly in Africa,” he said. “The CDC has two vaccines, one is a live virus vaccine and the other is an inactive vaccine.”

For more about Monkeypox click here.

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