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DC Health Confirms First Orthopoxvirus and Potential Monkey Pox Case in the District

Sunday, June 5, 2022

(Washington, DC) — On June 4, the DC Public Health Lab confirmed the first positive Orthopoxvirus case in a District resident who reported recent travel to Europe. The collected samples have been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for further testing and confirmation of the Monkeypox virus. Monkeypox is in the Orthopox family of viruses.

The patient is currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public. DC Health is identifying and monitoring close contacts, however, at this time no additional cases have been identified in the District.

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. Less commonly, transmission can occur through respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact and from contaminated materials such as bedding or clothing.

Symptoms of monkeypox include a headache, muscle aches, fever or flu like symptoms followed by a rash and lesions. DC Health strongly recommends anyone experiencing monkeypox symptoms to contact their healthcare provider and seek medical attention. 

On May 26, DC Health issued a Health Notice for District of Columbia Health Care Providers with clinical recommendations and reporting requirements for any suspected cases. 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. 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.

Visit linku.findhelp.com to find a testing center near you. For additional information about the ongoing outbreak, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: US Monkeypox 2022 or for more about this virus, visit cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/.