Douglas County has reported the first suspected case of monkeypox in Nebraska.
The patient is a man in his 30s with a history of international travel, the Douglas County Health Department said in a news release. The person is isolating at home and the health department said contact tracing is being done to find anyone else who may have been exposed to the illness.
The case was identified by the Nebraska Public Health Laboratory and a sample was sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.
The case is one of more than 200 cases of the disease that have been officially diagnosed in the US as part of a global outbreak that began earlier this year. However, medical experts have speculated that the case numbers here are much higher and are underreported due to a lack of testing.
“As monkeypox infections are increasingly being identified in the US and around the world, it is critical that we continue to look for it here in Nebraska,” said Nebraska State Epidemiologist Dr. Matthew Donahue.
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“Monkeypox spreads through close contact with someone who has a characteristic rash. Nebraskans need to be aware of the appearance of the rash, and we need people with this characteristic rash to speak with their health care providers so we can help them schedule testing.”
Health experts urge Nebraska providers to be vigilant for monkeypox
In addition to the rash, which causes lesions that resemble pimples or blisters, monkeypox usually causes other symptoms including swollen lymph nodes, fever, headache, and body aches. Human transmission usually involves prolonged close personal contact or contact with materials contaminated with the virus.
The disease is similar to smallpox, but usually produces milder symptoms.
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