MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — Health officials have confirmed the first case of monkeypox in Mecklenburg County Monday.
The infected person is currently isolating at home, according to county officials.
Not much information could be provided about the person who has the virus. Channel 9 does know the person is a resident of Mecklenburg County and likely contracted the virus from a person outside the county, according to the health department.
“Although monkeypox infections remain rare, the CDC is reporting that cases continue to rise across the country,” said Dr. Raynard Washington, MCPH director. “It is very important to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox and to be vigilant. Individuals with concerning rashes should contact their health care provider.”
“Our communicable disease team has worked diligently over the weekend to make sure we identified and contacted any close contacts of the case,” Washington said.
One person who was a close contact to the patient was vaccinated with a smallpox vaccine, according to Washington. There is no monkeypox vaccine, but the smallpox vaccine does help to combat the spread of the virus.
Last week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported the first case of monkeypox in the state, but the case was not from the Charlotte area.
In response, Mecklenburg County health officials said they were preparing to offer the smallpox vaccine in limited monkeypox exposure and close contact cases. The smallpox vaccine is for monkeypox.
“Though this is the first confirmed case in the county, we know there are likely other cases,” said Washington. “We are encouraging doctors to consider this in people who have a rash or skin lesion that looks like monkeypox.”
As of Friday, 4,106 cases have been identified worldwide. Health officials said monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over.
Washington said it is spread through skin-to-skin contact, like kissing, cuddling or sexual contact. It is not a sexually transmitted infection, Washington added.
More information on monkeypox can be found on the CDC’s website.
This is a developing story. Check back with wsoctv.com for updates.
(WATCH BELOW: Health officials confirm first case of monkeypox in North Carolina)
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