MARION TW. ‒ The first confirmed case of monkey pox has been reported in Beaver County.
Greater Pittsburgh’s YMCA announced last weekend that one person at its Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer in Marion Township is in quarantine after testing positive for the viral illness, which has spread across the United States in recent months. This outbreak was first reported in the United Kingdom in early May.
Officials did not say whether the infected person in Beaver County was a camper or an employee. Earlier this week, an employee of the UPMC Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh was also diagnosed with monkey pox.
With caution:PA Health Department advises residents to exercise caution with monkey pox despite low numbers
According to the Allegheny County Department of Health, the county had 38 confirmed cases of monkey pox as of Aug. 10, according to its website. State officials have identified nearly 300 cases in Pennsylvania so far. The Centers for Disease Control listed 11,177 cases in the country as of Friday, according to the online tracker.
More: CDC Monkeypox US Map
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the first human case of monkeypox was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. It was first discovered in 1958 in a colony of monkeys kept for research. Before the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in humans in several Central and West African countries. But there was a smaller outbreak in 2003 in the United States.
Previously, almost all cases of monkeypox in humans outside Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease is common or from imported animals. These cases occurred on multiple continents.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on July 23. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Xavier Becerra declared monkey pox a national public health emergency on Aug. 4.
More: US now has world’s largest monkeypox outbreak
The monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, is generally caused by close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, according to the state health department. Symptoms may include rash, lesions, fever, headache, muscle or back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and respiratory ailments such as sore throat, nasal congestion, and cough. The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks. It is rarely fatal.
More: Monkeypox spreads through sex, but it’s not an STD. Why calling it one is a problem.
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