Philadelphia health officials investigating second probable case of monkeypox

Digitally dyed electron microscope (EM) image depicting a monkeypox virion (viral particle), released June 6, 2022. (Photo via Smith Collection / Gado / Getty Images)

Philadelphia health officials are investigating the second probable case of monkeypox in the city after a resident tested positive for the orthopoxvirus.

The Philadelphia Department of Health on Wednesday said the Philadelphia resident was seen at an out-of-town clinic and there is currently no known link between the probable case and the first case of monkeypox in the city.

The health department was briefed on the probable case on Tuesday morning, according to a statement. Since the resident was tested out of town, the Pennsylvania Department of Health is coordinating the report and testing.

Officials said the resident is working with the health department to identify any contacts that may have been exposed. The health department will contact those people directly, according to a release.

The health department said the risk of contracting monkeypox remains “extremely low”. Dana Perella, director of the acute communicable diseases program at the Department of Public Health in Philadelphia, said monkeypox is “far less contagious than COVID-19 and is particularly containable when seeking prompt care for symptoms. “.

monkeypox? What is that?

According to officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, monkeypox is caused by a virus that belongs to the same genus of virus that causes smallpox.

Monkeypox, according to the CDC, was first discovered in 1958, following two outbreaks of a smallpox-like disease in monkey colonies kept for research.

The first human case of the disease was recorded in a country now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, during a period of intensified efforts to eradicate smallpox. Since then, the disease has been reported in people in several Central and West African countries. Cases have also been reported in the United States, as well as in numerous Asian, Middle Eastern and European countries.

What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

According to the CDC’s website, it usually takes seven to 14 days from the time of infection for a person to start feeling symptoms of the disease, but the incubation period can also range from five to 21 days.

The disease, according to the CDC, begins with:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Backache
  • Enlarged lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion

CDC officials say that within one to three days of the fever occurring, the infected person will develop a rash, which often begins on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body. The rash will eventually dry out and fall off.

According to the World Health Organization, monkeypox symptoms typically last two to four weeks.

Can people die from monkeypox?

According to the WHO, the mortality rate from monkeypox varies between zero and 11% in the general population. The rate is highest among young children.

How does it spread?

CDC officials say monkeypox is spread when a person comes in contact with the virus from an animal, human, or materials contaminated with the virus.

“The virus enters the body through the injured skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose or mouth)”, reads one part of the website.

The CDC website states that human-to-human transmission of monkeypox “is thought to occur primarily via large respiratory droplets,” but other human-to-human transmissions include “direct contact with bodily fluids or wound material and indirect contact with wound material, such as through contaminated clothing or linens. “

How did it get to the United States?

According to Massachusetts health officials, the monkeypox case in the state involved an adult man who recently traveled to Canada. Since then, monkeypox has also been detected in ten US states, including Pennsylvania.

In Portugal, officials from the country’s Directorate-General for Health said they are investigating 15 suspected cases of monkeypox that were all identified in the area around Lisbon in May.

Britain, meanwhile, had already reported three cases of monkeypox, two involving people living in the same family and the third involving someone who had traveled to Nigeria.

Have we seen cases of monkeypox in the United States before?

According to the CDC, the first case of monkeypox in the United States occurred in 2003, when 47 confirmed and probable cases were reported from six states: Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

“All the people infected with monkeypox in this outbreak became ill after having contact with pet prairie dogs. The pets were infected after being housed near small mammals imported from Ghana,” one part reads. of the website.

According to officials, investigators later determined that a shipment of animals from Ghana to Texas in April 2003 introduced monkeypox to the United States.

After the 2003 outbreak, two human cases of monkeypox were reported in 2021. In both cases, the infected person arrived in the United States from Nigeria.

CDC officials say monkeypox does not occur naturally in the United States

What can i do to prevent monkeypox?

CDC officials have the following advice for people in order to prevent a monkeypox infection. They include:

  • Avoid contact with animals that may harbor the virus, including sick animals or animals found dead in areas where monkeypox occurs
  • Avoid contact with any material, such as litter, that has been in contact with a sick animal
  • Isolate those who have been infected from others who may be at risk for infection
  • Practice good hand hygiene after contact with infected animals or humans, such as washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Use personal protective equipment (PPE) when caring for patients.

Are there treatments for monkeypox?

CDC officials say there is currently no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox.

Is there a vaccine for monkeypox?


According to the CDC, a vaccine called Jynneos, also known as Imvamune or Imvanex, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration to prevent monkeypox.

According to the Military Health System website, Jynneos was approved by the FDA in September 2019. In a statement released by Bavarian Nordic, the vaccine is based on a virus that is unable to replicate within a human body, but still capable of trigger an immune response.

WHO officials said, however, that the vaccine is not widely available.

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