WASHINGTON (7News) — A District resident who recently traveled to Europe has been confirmed as the first positive Orthopox case in D.C.
The DC Public Health Lab confirmed the case and sent collected samples to the CDC for further testing to see if it’s the monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is in the Orthopox family of viruses, D.C. Health says.
At a news conference Monday, Dr. Thomas Farley, Senior Deputy Director for the Community Health Administration within D.C. Health, said, “There was a single case of monkeypox diagnosed in a D.C. resident of the weekend. I can tell you this was a male. This male had traveled to Europe."
Farley explained that experts believe this is a monkeypox case, however, the CDC's results are expected to return within a few days to confirm.
D.C. Health is identifying and monitoring close contacts as the patient remains in isolation. The patient doesn’t pose a threat to the public.
SEE ALSO | Northern Va. woman contracts first monkeypox case in the state: health officials
“Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that can be transmitted from person to person through direct contact with body fluid or monkeypox lesions,” according to a statement from DC Health. “Less commonly, transmission can occur through respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact and from contaminated materials such as bedding or clothing.”
SEE ALSO | Will monkeypox turn into the next pandemic? Many unknowns remain, WHO says
Monkeypox symptoms include a headache, muscle aches, fever or flu-like symptoms followed by a rash and lesions.
DC Health urges anyone experiencing monkeypox symptoms to contact their healthcare provider and seek medical attention.
“In May 2022, Massachusetts confirmed a monkeypox case in a patient with recent travel to Canada; Texas and Maryland each reported a case in 2021 in people with recent travel to Nigeria,” DC Health reports. “Since early May 2022, the United Kingdom has identified nine cases of monkeypox; the first case had recently traveled to Nigeria. None of the other cases have reported recent travel. There are currently 25 confirmed cases of Monkeypox in the United States.”
For additional information about the ongoing outbreak, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: US Monkeypox 2022.