The international Monkeypox virus infection has reached the Northland.  Officials with the Minnesota Department of Health released details about the first confirmed case of Monkeypox infection in Minnesota on June 27.

Health officials are keeping the identity of the adult individual confidential, but the case was diagnosed out of the Minneapolis-St. Paul Twin Cities area.  And while contact tracing is being performed, it's believed that the "patient was likely exposed while traveling abroad".

The patient is receiving outpatient care after completing the initial testing over the weekend.  The tests from Saturday at the Minnesota Department of Health Laboratory were sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta for further evaluation.

Health officials are alerting the public that while caution should be exercised, this first reported case in the state isn't cause for panic:

"The virus does not easily spread between people with casual contact, but transmission can occur through contact with infectious sores and bodily fluids; contaminated items, such as clothing or bedding; or through respiratory droplets associated with prolonged face to face contact."

This first case in Minnesota joins the 201 cases being reported by the CDC in the United States.  Those cases are spread across 26 other U.S. States.  Worldwide, "in recent months, more than 4,100 cases have been reported in 47 countries".

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, here are symptoms to look for with the Monkeypox virus:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash - that can look like pimples or blisters

The illness typically lasts two to four weeks and most people do get better on their own without treatment.  However, medical officials urge anyone who thinks that they have been infected to seek medical care.

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