First probable case of monkeypox found in Oklahoma

The first probable case of monkeypox has been identified in Oklahoma.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) said it’s working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to confirm the infection in a central Oklahoma resident who recently travelled to a country with confirmed cases.

“As soon as we learned about the monkeypox outbreak in Europe our response team began working to coordinate areas within the agency to respond if a case was identified in Oklahoma,” said Jan Fox, Deputy Commissioner of Health Preparedness. “We are currently working through the case investigation and contact tracing. However, we do want to stress to Oklahomans that the general public is not at risk.”

OSDH said the person is in isolation and officials are working to complete contact tracing to identify those who may have been exposed to the individual.

While this virus is not easily transmissible, monkeypox can be transmitted to humans through direct, physical contact with an infected person or animal. It can also be transmitted from person to person through respiratory droplets or contact with body fluids and lesions, as well as bedding and other contaminated materials.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes. An infected person may also have firm, deep-seated and well-circumscribed lesions.

OSDH said clinicians should be more cautious if a suspicious rash, consistent with monkeypox, shows up on someone who has traveled to countries with recently confirmed cases of the virus, reported having contact with someone who has a similar appearing rash or have received a positive test result for monkeypox.