Monkeypox has reached South Dakota

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Department of Health has reported a case of monkeypox in a South Dakota resident.

The patient is a man in his 30s from eastern South Dakota who tested positive for orthopoxvirus, which was confirmed by officials at the State Public Health Laboratory. The specimen will be submitted to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmation as monkeypox.

This is the first monkeypox case reported in South Dakota as of July 14.

“The number of monkeypox cases has grown substantially over the past two months in the U.S. and globally,” Dr. Josh Clayton, state epidemiologist, said in a news release announcing the case. “Prompt identification of the characteristic monkeypox rash by patients and clinicians is necessary to curb the transmission of this virus, although more cases are anticipated before the number of new cases slows.”

Neighboring states have also have reported cases of monkeypox, with two cases reported in Iowa and nine in Minnesota as of July 13.

Monkeypox can spread when a person comes into contact with the virus by having direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids.

Respiratory secretions during prolonged face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contacts such as kissing, cuddling, or sex can spread the virus. While anyone can get monkeypox, the DOH says cases have occurred disproportionately in men who have sex with men.

The symptoms of monkeypox include the following:

  • Rash that looks like pimples or blisters that can occur in the mouth, genital and anal areas, or other parts of the face and body like the hands, feet, and chest.
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle and backaches
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • Swollen Lymph Nodes

To protect yourself from contracting the disease, the DOH says to avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox, do not handle or touch materials such as bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox, and wash your hands often with soap and water.

The South Dakota Department of Health encourages individuals to contact their health care provider early if they develop symptoms of monkeypox to aid in rapid detection and prevent ongoing transmission. More information about the virus, signs and symptoms, prevention and treatment can be found on the CDC website or at doh.sd.gov.

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