Medical experts weigh in one first cases of Monkeypox in Olmsted County

Monkeypox has been confirmed in Olmsted County by Olmsted County Public Health.
Published: Aug. 26, 2022 at 5:50 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – Monkeypox has been confirmed in Olmsted County by Olmsted County Public Health. According to the Minnesota Department of Health website, there are fewer than five cases in Olmsted County but the exact number is not provided.

While the exact number or demographics surrounding the outbreak is unknown, we do know that one of the individuals traveled out of state before developing symptoms.

Olmsted County Public Health reported the Monkeypox virus in the county Monday, but it wasn’t reported to the public until Friday.

“Any cases we have here in Olmsted County are in home and in isolation and doing well that this point,” Olmsted County Public Health director Denise Daniels said.

A lab with the Minnesota Department of Health completed the initial testing, and Olmsted County Public Health has been helping with contact tracing.

“The virus is spread by close, physical contact. It can also be spread through infected materials like towels, clothing, bedding,” Mayo Clinic vaccine research group co-director Richard Kennedy said.

There have been no reported deaths in the U.S. from Monkeypox, and medical experts say the virus does not easily spread with casual contact.

“While anyone can get it, we do not see this as being a real high-risk situation or social distancing needed for this,” Richards said.

“The vast majority of people and pets have little to no risk,” Dr. Kennedy said.

However, if you are experiencing symptoms or have a known exposure, medical professionals recommend getting checked out.

“If you do have a rash or a lesion, go to your healthcare provider and you can get tested for monkeypox that way” Olmsted County Public Health epidemiologist Matthew Giljork said.

As with most viruses, there are several ways you can protect yourself and your community,

“We practice good hand hygiene, so washing your hands with soap and water, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Minimizing particular skin-to-skin contact for individuals who have been exposed to the virus or those showing a rash or skin sores,” Richards said.

There are 108 reported cases of Monkeypox in the state as of Aug. 25, 2022.