First Presumed Case of Monkeypox Reported in Lancaster County
Lincoln, NE (July 19, 2022) The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department (LLCHD) today reported the first presumed case of monkeypox in Lancaster County. Confirmatory testing is currently being performed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The person is a man in his 30s with recent travel history outside of Nebraska. He is isolating at home. The Health Department is currently investigating potential close contacts and will notify those who may have been exposed.
Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus and is primarily spread through close, skin to skin contact with someone who has a monkeypox rash. LLCHD has shared information and guidance with local health care providers about rapid detection, testing and treatment options for monkeypox.
Although the risk to the public is considered low at this time, it’s important to be aware that this virus has been identified in our area. The Health Department recommends that anyone who has an unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms contact their healthcare provider to be evaluated.
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. This process can take several weeks. Find pictures of monkeypox rash at https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/symptoms.html.
- Muscle aches or backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash. There is no specific treatment for monkeypox but some antiviral medications have been used effectively. Some people who have had close, personal contact with a person who has the virus may be able to receive a vaccine for the prevention of monkeypox.
There are steps people can take to help prevent the spread of monkeypox like avoiding skin to skin contact with someone with a monkeypox rash, avoiding contact with any materials, such as bedding, that have been in contact with a sick person, and washing hands often or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Five cases of monkeypox, including the one in Lancaster County, have been identified in Nebraska. Close to 2,000 cases have been reported in U.S. states and territories since May and numbers continue to rise. Since the beginning of the current global outbreak, over 14,000 cases have been reported worldwide, according to CDC data.
For more information on monkeypox, visit cdc.gov/monkeypox.