First monkeypox case reported in eastern South Dakota

Monkeypox cases in the United States have been slowly climbing the past two months; from 40 at the beginning of June to now over 1,000.
Published: Jul. 14, 2022 at 9:20 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - It wasn’t a matter of if but when South Dakota would see it’s first case of monkeypox. The virus has already infected many in the country and across the world. Local health officials say they’re cautious over the news, but that there’s no need for extreme concern.

Monkeypox cases in the United States have been slowly climbing the past two months; from 40 at the beginning of June to now over 1,000. And South Dakota is now one of 42 states with a reported case.

“This is a male in his 30′s who’s living in southeastern South Dakota. We were able to work with that patient and their medical provider to offer testing at the Public Health Laboratory.” State Epidemiologist Dr. Joshua Clayton said.

Local health officials say that monkeypox is much harder to transmit from person to person - much harder than COVID-19. It spreads through close contact from skin and bodily fluids from individuals with symptoms. It can also spread from clothes, bed sheets and linens used by infected individuals.

“Skin to skin contact, particularly when folks who have monkypox have the rash. It probably can be spread in other ways to respiratory secretions. But again, it requires close and prolonged contact.” Sanford Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Jennifer Hsu said.

This outbreak isn’t the first time the United States has seen cases of monkeypox, but certainly the biggest. The last notable outbreak came in 2003.

“We’ve had cases in the U.S. in the past 20 years on and off. But this is the first time we’ve had this large scale of infections all over the country.” Avera Infectious Disease Physician Dr. Fares Masannat said.

Masannat said monkeypox symptoms include rashes, but other common virus symptoms as well such as fatigue, fever, headaches, and swollen lymph nodes.

“The symptoms can last sometimes for weeks, the skin lesions can last that long. However, in many cases it’s more short-lived.” Massanat said.

Masannat said there’s a lot that is unknown yet about this latest outbreak of monkeypox. He said they’ll need to watch new cases very carefully, to monitor any changes in symptoms or transmission.

“We’ll have to monitor for that closely, just to kind of be sure that this does not behave in a different way.” Masannat said.

Masannat said this news is a good reminder to everyone that if they aren’t feeling well, to contact a physician as soon as possible. With COVID-19 still active across the state and now a recorded case of monkeypox, he said everyone should be seeking answers if they aren’t well, to make sure they can be given the right treatment.

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