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First 'presumptive' case of monkeypox in Kansas identified by officials in Johnson County

Europe Monkeypox
Posted at 11:25 AM, Jul 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-10 06:10:18-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The first "presumptive" positive case of monkeypox has been identified by the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) and the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment (JCDHE).

The case was identified through testing at the Kansas Health and Environment Laboratories, according to a release from KDHE.

The patient is a Johnson County, Kansas, man who recently traveled to another state within the U.S., the department said. The patient is helping the department identify people who may have come in contact with them.

Last month, the first probable positive case in Missouri was identified in a Kansas City, Missouri, resident. JCDHE says it usually takes 24-48 hours for the CDC to confirm a presumptive test.

“The risk of monkeypox spreading in Kansas remains low,” Secretary of KDHE Janet Stanek said. “If you are experiencing symptoms of monkeypox illness, it’s important to stay home and contact your health care provider as soon as possible to avoid spreading the disease to others.”

KDHE says standard symptoms of monkeypox include "fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion." These symptoms are followed by a "rash that can look like pimples or blisters that may appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body like hands, feet, chest, or genitals." Initial symptoms do not always appear before the rash.

Risk factors of monkeypox include contact with an individual with confirmed or probable monkeypox, travel outside of the United States to countries with confirmed cases of monkeypox and contact with a wild animal or exotic pet, or products from these animals, that are an African endemic species.

“Monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States,” JCDHE director Dr. Sanmi Areola said. “Transmission requires close contact with someone with symptomatic monkeypox. This virus has not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population. Based on the information currently available, the risk to the public appears to be very low.”

In Kansas, monkeypox vaccine is available to individuals with a known exposure or confirmed monkeypox case who have been contacted by KDHE or clinic partners.