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First case of monkeypox reported in Mecklenburg

June 27. Mecklenburg County Public Health (MCPH) has confirmed the first case of monkeypox in the county. Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious, viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over.

MCPH did not release the location or gender of the patient, except to say they are in Mecklenburg recuperating at home.

The NC Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) reported the first case in the state last week.

Most infections last two to four weeks.

Monkeypox is a viral zoonosis, that is a virus transmitted to humans from animals.

Those animals aren’t necessarily monkeys.

In humans, the disease remained confined to the rain forests of Western and Central Africa until 2003, when an outbreak of monkeypox occurred in the United States. All cases were traced to sick rodents imported from Ghana. Local prairie dogs caught the infection and passed it onto their owners.