Mississippi reported its first case of monkeypox on Monday.
The Mississippi State Department of Health held a press conference on Wednesday to discuss the state’s response to the recent report of a monkeypox case in the state.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Paul Byers said MSDH has been monitoring and surveying potential cases since the first case was reported in the U.S. So far, Mississippi has only confirmed one case.
The individual was said to have contracted the virus outside of Mississippi. However, Byers indicated that more cases are likely to be identified.
As of Wednesday morning, there were 3,591 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the U.S.
Currently, the state has 300 doses of vaccine to treat post-exposure to monkeypox, which means if someone has been exposed or has become ill they can receive the vaccine in an attempt to prevent or lessen the impacts of the virus. The vaccine being used is the same one used to treat smallpox.
Byers said they do expect to receive more vaccines, but do not know when and how many will be in the next shipment.
The spread of the virus comes from close, person-to-person contact. Most commonly, the virus is spread if a person touches the rash or lesion it causes on another individual. It is also most commonly spreads through kissing, cuddling, and sex. Other possible, but less likely ways to contract the virus are through contact with linens or items that the lesions have touched. Some concern that respiratory secretions can transmit the virus are also considered.
The incubation period for monkeypox is 1-2 weeks. Symptoms will begin similar to the flu and will progress into a rash. The rash can look like blisters, pimples, or other flat red spots.
A person is the most contagious when the rash appears, and will remain contagious until the rash is gone.
In the event you believe you have been exposed to monkeypox or are showing symptoms of the virus, isolate immediately and contact your care provider.