The Hamilton County Health Department confirms three positive Monkeypox cases in our area. The Health Department is currently conducting case investigations to alert close contacts who might have been exposed to the virus while the patients were infectious.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Illness may last up to four weeks. Cases of Monkeypox have rarely been reported in the United States, primarily associated with travel to endemic areas of the world. However, since early May 2022, multiple clusters of Monkeypox have been identified around the world.
“We have been anticipating and preparing for Monkeypox to reach out community. Overall, the risk to our population is low, but be mindful that Monkeypox is a disease that can affect any individual,” said Dr. Stephen Miller, Hamilton County Health Department Health Officer.
Monkeypox transmission occurs mainly through direct physical contact from a person with monkeypox or by touching objects, fabrics, and surfaces used by someone with the virus. It can also spread through contact with respiratory secretions.
Infection may begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion and symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure. Most cases self-resolve and do not involve any treatment. If you begin to develop symptoms or think you have been exposed to someone who is positive for monkeypox, please contact your doctor or primary care physician for help getting tested. If you test positive for monkeypox, please click here for isolation guidance.
Vaccines are currently available, but due to a limited supply and based on CDC recommendations, the Health Department is currently only providing vaccines to people who have been in close contact or exposed to someone who has monkeypox. Please call our Health Department hotline at 423-209-8383 if you think you have been exposed to someone who has monkeypox and are seeking vaccination.
Additional Information & Resources
- For more about the Monkeypox virus, visit https://bit.ly/3JrFDHy.
- Please also visit the Health Department’s website at https://bit.ly/3JlcDkq.
- Masks must be worn inside all Hamilton County Health Department facilities.
- Call the Health Department’s hotline at 423-209-8383 if you have questions.
- To read this information in Spanish, visit the Health Department’s Spanish Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/SaludHamiltonTN.