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Monkeypox cases in Kentucky rise to 42 with 34 cases reported last week

By Tom Latek
Kentucky Today

The number of cases of monkeypox in Kentucky, while still small, continues to rise, according to the latest weekly report from the Department for Public Health released Thursday.

The latest count of confirmed cases stands at 42 statewide, compared to 34 which were reported last week.

Twenty-six cases have been in Jefferson County. Four have been reported in both Fayette and Warren counties, two in Christian County, and one each in Barren, Hardin, Kenton, McCracken, Montgomery, and Oldham counties, according to DPH.

The victims’ ages range from 21 to 60, with the largest group,11, among those ages 31-35.  41 cases have involved males, with 20 of them Black, 18 White and four listed as “Other.” By ethnicity, 5 cases involve those who identify as Hispanic or Latino, 29 are Non-Hispanic or Latino, and the other eight are categorized as Unknown.

State public health officials say monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus and spread through contact with the virus from an infected animal, infected person or virus-contaminated objects and materials. Direct contact with sores, scabs or body fluids of an infected person is the primary method of spread; but it also may spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face or intimate contact with an infected person.

Monkeypox typically begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes and exhaustion followed by a rash.  The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks and infected persons are considered contagious while symptoms are present. Those concerned about monkeypox should contact their health care providers.

As of Thursday, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, say there have been 23,117 cases reported across the United States, with six states having over 1,000 each. They are: California with 4,453, New York 3,719, Florida 2,301, Texas 2,017, Georgia 1,641 and Illinois 1,198. Wyoming and South Dakota have had the fewest with two apiece.

The CDC says the JYNNEOS vaccine is approved for prevention of smallpox and monkeypox, and is the primary vaccine being used during this outbreak in the U.S. The ACAM2000 vaccine is an alternative to JYNNEOS and is also approved to help protect against smallpox and monkeypox.

Additional information on monkeypox can be found at nkyhealth.org/monkeypox and by calling the Kentucky Monkeypox Hotline at 844.520.6670. Contact your medical provider if you have concerns or questions about monkeypox.

The NKY Health Department has the vaccine and provides priority to high risk individuals.

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