DHEC investigating possible monkeypox exposures in South Carolina – Florence, South Carolina

Florence, South Carolina 2022-05-24 15:03:18 –

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina (WBTW) —The South Carolina Department of Health and Environment (DHEC) announced on Tuesday that it is investigating possible exposure to monkeypox in South Carolina.

According to DHEC, several people were in contact during the flight with people who were confirmed to have monkeypox in the United Kingdom. Contact people will be monitored until Wednesday, following the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance released this week.

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DHEC said none of the contacts were symptomatic and no confirmed cases were found in the state.

It was unknown where the flight took place, and DHEC did not specify where the contacts were in the state.

Health authorities in Europe, North America, Israel and Australia have recently identified more than 100 cases of monkeypox.

What is monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a virus derived from wild animals such as rodents and primates, and occasionally infects humans. It belongs to the same virus family as smallpox.

Most human cases occur in Central and West Africa, with relatively limited outbreaks.

The disease was first identified by scientists in 1958 when two “monkeypox-like” illnesses occurred in research monkeys. Therefore, it was named monkeypox. The first known human infection was a boy in a remote area of ​​Congo in 1970.

What is the cause of this latest outbreak?

Health officials are still investigating, but the World Health Organization’s top advisors this week Main theory Monkeypox is likely to have spread after sexual activity in two recent rave in Europe.

Dr. David Hayman, chair of the WHO Expert Advisory Group on the Risk of Infection, said monkeypox can spread in close contact with people who are already infected, “sexual contact amplifies the infection. It seems that it was done. “

Authorities in countries such as the United Kingdom, Spain, Germany and Portugal say that most of the known cases in Europe are between men who have sex with men, but experts say that sick people, their clothes or It emphasizes that close contact with the bed sheet can infect anyone.

Scientists say it will be difficult to determine whether the spread is due to gender or simply close contact.

Why are the most infected men currently having sex with men outside Africa?

It’s not clear, but the disease is less likely to infect gay and bisexual men than anyone else.

Dr. Jake Dunning, an infectious disease researcher at Oxford University who is also involved in the treatment of cases in London, said: “It’s just how they are a community and how it spreads by having sex with each other,” he said.

Other experts warn that the disease may spread more widely if measures are not taken to stop the outbreak.

“Infectious diseases do not care about borders or social networks. Some groups may now be more likely to be exposed, but current exposure to monkeypox is limited to men who have sex with men. There is never a risk, “said Dr. John Brooks of the CDC.

What are the symptoms and how are they treated?

many Monkeypox Patients experience only fever, body aches, chills, and malaise. People with more serious illnesses have rashes and lesions on their faces and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.

Most people recover within about 2-4 weeks without the need for hospitalization. Monkeypox is fatal in up to 6% of cases and is considered to be more severe in children.

Smallpox vaccine is effective against monkeypox, and antiviral drugs have been developed.

The European Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommended quarantining all suspicious cases and providing smallpox vaccine to high-risk contacts. The UK offers high-risk smallpox vaccines and recommends quarantining potentially infected individuals until recovery.

In the United States, 1,000 doses of the vaccine approved for the prevention of monkeypox and smallpox have been given, and more than 100 million old-generation smallpox vaccines have been given to government stockpiles, officials said. ..

How are you worried about this outbreak?

Although there are concerns about the emergence of new viruses, most cases are mild and have not died so far.

Monkeypox also requires very close contact to spread, so it is unlikely to cause a wave of major illnesses such as COVID-19 that can be transmitted in the air by asymptomatic people.

Still, the UK’s Health and Security Agency expects new infections to be seen “every day,” and the WHO Director of Europe warned that summer festivals and parties could spread the disease. Many of the confirmed cases have nothing to do with previous infections, suggesting that the virus is already widespread.

On Tuesday, German Health Minister Karl Roterbach said the outbreak was “not the beginning of a new pandemic” but needed to be quickly contained.

How many cases are typically monkeypox?

The World Health Organization estimates that there are thousands of monkeypox infections in about 12 African countries each year. Most of them are in Congo, which reports about 6,000 cases annually, and Nigeria, which reports about 3,000 cases annually.

In the past, isolated cases of monkeypox have been found outside Africa, including the United States and the United Kingdom. Cases were primarily associated with travel to Africa or contact with animals in areas where the disease was more common.

In 2003, 47 cases were confirmed or estimated in 6 states in the United States.they Caught the virus From a pet prairie dog that was kept near a small mammal imported from Ghana.


This report was contributed by New York AP writer Mike Stobbe and Berlin’s Kirsten Grieshaber.

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