CDC confirms first case of monkeypox in Georgia
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) - The Georgia Department of Public Health (DPH) says it has received confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that the orthopoxvirus case diagnosed in a man from metro Atlanta last week is monkeypox.
The individual remains in isolation at home, and DPH says it will continue to monitor his symptoms and contact tracing – all of which began last week with the orthopoxvirus diagnosis. Health officials say this person has a history of international travel.
This is the first confirmed case of monkeypox in the state of Georgia. CBS46 reported last week that someone was being investigated for suspected monkeypox. It is important to note this person is that same individual and not a new case.
After two years in a global pandemic, monkeypox is probably the last thing any of us want to hear right now. With that said, experts say this is nothing like COVID-19. It’s something you need to be aware of, but not lose sleep over.
”It is in the family of smallpox. It is not smallpox,” said Jessica Holzer, Ph.D., University of New Haven.
It starts with flu-like symptoms - muscle aches, fever, and headache.
Within one to three days, a rash will begin that turns into blisters and scabs. The blisters and scabs will usually start on the face and spread throughout the body. The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks and is deadly in 3-6% of infected people.
Its name? Monkeypox.
”It is a virus transmissible from skin-to skin contact largely and contact with pustules,” Holzer explained.
It’s a rare disease that has been on the radar of public health officials for more than 50 years.
”COVID-19 is airborne... monkeypox is not spread in an airborne space as far as we know. Things can change, but the disease patterns we are seeing now are not consistent with there being airborne transmission,” Holzer said.
”One of the things that makes this particular outbreak of monkeypox interesting is that it is not only happening among people who have traveled to regions where there is endemic monkeypox; that means there is community-spread outside of those endemic regions,” Holzer said.
We continue to say possible case because the Georgia Department of Health tells us they have a confirmed case of orthopoxvirus but haven’t confirmed this is a positive monkeypox case just yet.
”Orthopoxvirus is the overall umbrella term that covers all of them...they tend to have a common symptom of these pox that people get. It is worth mentioning that there are other orthopoxviruses,” Holzer said.
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