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Date: July 12, 2022
DOVER, DE (JULY 12, 2022) - The Delaware Division of Public Health's (DPH) is announcing the state's first case of the monkeypox virus (MPX). This week, DPH received test results showing a 41-year-old New Castle County man tested positive for MPX. This positive case is considered probable pending confirmatory testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Delaware man did not report any travel or exposure to someone known to have MPX but is believed to have been exposed to the virus after close intimate contact with an individual in early July.
The individual is self-isolating and DPH is working with him to identify any possible close contacts. Currently, DPH is working with the CDC to confirm the course of treatment for this individual.
"The Delaware Division of Public Health has prepared to respond to MPX cases," said DPH Interim Director Dr. Rick Hong. "As we work to confirm our first case in the state, we encourage Delawareans to be aware of being in close intimate contact with individuals who have rashes or flu-like symptoms. We will continue to monitor this situation closely."
MPX is a rare disease caused through infection with the monkeypox virus. It can make you sick, causing a rash, which may look like pimples or blisters, often with an earlier flu-like illness. Transmission of MPX occurs when a person encounters the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), respiratory tract, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
The overall risk of MPX is low, generally caused by close intimate contact. However there are other ways it can spread including:
The incubation period of the illness (time from infection to symptoms) is typically seven to 14 days but can as long as 21 days. The illness itself typically lasts two to four weeks and is rarely fatal. People who do not have symptoms cannot spread the virus to others.
Signs and Symptoms
The symptoms of MPX are similar to, but milder than, the symptoms of smallpox. Symptoms usually start within 3 weeks of exposure to the virus. Most people who contract MPX will develop a rash, and some will develop flu-like symptoms beforehand. The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they will usually develop a rash one to four days later.
If you suspect you are experiencing any symptoms associated with MPX you should immediately:
Currently, there is no specific treatment for monkeypox virus infection. Instead, smallpox vaccine, antivirals, and vaccinia immune globulin (VIG) can be used. CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been diagnosed with or exposed to MPX and people who are at higher risk of being exposed to the virus, including:
To prevent infection with MPX:
To learn more about MPX management and prevention programs and resources, visit https://dhss.delaware.gov/dph/epi/emerginginfectiousdiseases.html or call DPH's Office of Infectious Disease Epidemiology 24/7 emergency contact number at 888-295-5156.
Anyone who is deaf, hard of hearing, Deaf-Blind or speech disabled can contact DPH by dialing 711 first using specialized devices (i.e. TTY, TeleBraille, voice devices). The 711 service is free and to learn more about how it works, please visit delawarerelay.com.
DPH, a division of DHSS, urges Delawareans to make healthier choices with the 5-2-1 Almost None campaign: eat 5 or more fruits and vegetables each day, have no more than 2 hours of recreational screen time each day (includes TV, computer, gaming), get 1 or more hours of physical activity each day, and drink almost no sugary beverages.
Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.