CLAY COUNTY — According to Clay County Public Health Center, as of Friday, Sept. 30, Clay County has its first confirmed case of monkeypox.

“With the goal of preventing further spread, Clay County communicable disease prevention staff have provided isolation guidance to the patient and are in the process of communicating with anyone who may have come into close contact with the patient while they were infectious,” states a health center release.

Monkeypox is a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, the inside of the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus. Monkeypox infections are typically not severe; symptoms are usually similar to the flu with a rash and resolve within two to four weeks, states the Clay County Public Health Center’s {a href=”https://www.clayhealth.com/329/Monkeypox” target=”_blank”}website.

Monkeypox is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus, states the health center. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding and other items used by a person with monkeypox or from respiratory droplets that can be passed through prolonged face-to-face contact. Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms such as fever, chills, exhaustion or an unexplained rash on or near their genitals, hands, feet, chest, face or mouth should call their health care provider as soon as possible.

“It’s important for everyone to understand that although the threat to our community at-large is still low at this point, anyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can get and spread monkeypox,” said Ashley Wegner, section chief of Health Planning & Policy.

People who are high or medium risk of exposure are eligible to receive post-exposure vaccination, states the health center. The Kansas City Health Department is currently offering the vaccinations for the northwest region of Missouri. High-risk Missourians who are 18 years or older and meet criteria can seek vaccination by accessing the confidential survey on the KCHD {a href=”https://www.kcmo.gov/city-hall/departments/health/clinical-services/monkeypox-public-health-emergency/-fsiteid-1#!/” target=”_blank”}website.

“People are unlikely to get the virus by trying on clothing in a store or touching nonporous items like door handles and counters. Additionally, some activities that people learned to limit during COVID-19 surges are probably not as risky for monkeypox transmission. For example, sitting on a subway, bus or other public transportation or going to an office or school are unlikely to put people at risk of a monkeypox exposure,” states the CCPHC site.

According to the health center, there have been 103 confirmed monkeypox cases in Missouri and 25,613 cases across the United States.

“Kansas City, Missouri announced its first case of monkeypox on June 18. On July 23, the World Health Organization declared the monkeypox outbreak to be a global health emergency. As of Aug. 2, 83 countries are experiencing a monkeypox outbreak,” states the county health center’s website.

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.