Monkeypox closer to NJ: First probably case reported in Philadelphia
The first probable case of monkeypox in the state of Pennsylvania has been reported in the city of Philadelphia. The Philadelphia Health Department shared the news just after 2 p.m. on Thursday.
Additional testing will be conducted to confirm the "probable case." The infected resident has not been officially identified, according to the city's health department.
The health department will work with federal officials from the CDC to investigate how the person was exposed to the virus so they can identify anyone else who may be at risk.
What Is the Risk of Monkeypox in Philadelphia?
Health officials, however, continue to say the threat from the virus remains extremely low to Philadelphians and the city's visitors.
"Monkeypox is much less contagious than COVID-19 and is containable particularly when prompt care is sought for symptoms," the Health Department's Acute Communicable Disease Program Manager Dana Perella said in a statement Thursday afternoon.
Meanwhile, you should feel safe to continue to do all the fun things in the city, Perella says.
The current outbreak was first reported in the UK on May 6 with cases reported in 29 other countries since then including cases in 10 states across the United States, the CDC says.
What Are the Symptoms of Monkeypox?
The virus is spread through close, personal contact, and initial symptoms may include a fever, Headache, Muscle aches, etc. before developing a rash, which often begins on the face then spreads to other parts of the body, according to the CDC.
A vaccine to prevent (or lessen the severity of) the disease is available for those who may be at risk. And an antiviral treatment is available for patients who test positive for the virus, according to the CDC.
What You Should Do If You Think You Have Monkeypox
"The Health Department strongly recommends that anyone who is experiencing symptoms of an unexplained rash on their face, palms, arms, legs, genitals, or the perianal region that may be accompanied by flu-like illness should contact their regular healthcare provider as soon as possible," Philadelphia officials said on Thursday.