AC reports on monkeypox: Audrain County still with no reported cases

By Alan Dale Managing editor
Posted 8/17/22

The world is trying to work its way out of a COVID-19 pandemic, but now the United States is trying to avoid another threat to public health.

 

Thankfully for Audrain County, so far …

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AC reports on monkeypox: Audrain County still with no reported cases

Posted
The world is trying to work its way out of a COVID-19 pandemic, but now the United States is trying to avoid another threat to public health.
 
Thankfully for Audrain County, so far so good against the mountain threat of the spread of monkeypox, as to date, the approximately 7,500 reported cases in the country have not included a single one in Audrain County with only 14 in all of Missouri, according to Craig Brace, administrator and CEO of the Audrain County Health Department.
 
“It’s a rare disease that is usually seen outside the United States,” Brace said. “The states that seem to have the most cases are where you have larger metropolitan areas – Illinois with Chicago, certainly California, Texas and Florida. Monkeypox is certainly on the radar for the Audrain County Health Department as well as at the Department of Health and Senior Services at the state level.”
 
Brace noted the ease of transmission of the disease.
 
“The indication we are giving out to folks is that monkeypox can be spread through close, intimate contact with someone infected with it. You can also get infected when a person comes into contact with materials like bedding, sheets, towels which have been contaminated with the virus.”
 
Brace said contact with a pox rash or lesion along with respiratory droplets from the mouth and nose can also lead to exposure.
 
“There is no specific approved treatment for the actual infection of monkeypox, but there is an antiviral vaccine that can be given once it is determined that an individual is diagnosed with monkeypox,” Brace said.
 
What to look for?
Initial symptoms of monkeypox include fever, body aches, fatigue, and sometimes enlarged lymph nodes. The disease can result in a rash that leads to red bumps on the skin that can appear on hands, feet, face, mouth or even genitals. These rashes can transform into raised bumps or painful puss-filled red papules. Symptoms can last anywhere from 2-4 weeks. Someone infected is not contagious during the incubation period, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
 
Monkeypox can be fatal, but in the current outbreak — at least outside of Africa — it seems unlikely for the general population, according to a recent article in Newsweek. Currently, the least destructive strain of the disease is circulating outside of Africa in most cases. No deaths outside of Africa have occurred through the end of July and only five within that continent have been reported.
 
“Like any other virus, it does have potential risk of spreading and that’s the main concern,” Brace said. “Secondary infections can occur if not identified or treated – like pneumonia, sepsis and an infection of the cornea leading to a loss of vision.”
 
Younger children tend to compose more of the fatalities according to CDC reports.
 
“The actual virus can lead to complications,” Brace said. “One of the bacterial infections can lead to encephalitis which is an inflammation of the brain.
“Because it’s a virus, if it goes undiagnosed and there is no antiviral given during that period of time where you are diagnosed and it prolongs, it can lead to these secondary infections.”
 
He added the blisters that are caused and open up can ultimately lead to more bacterial infections.
 

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