KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Health Department and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Saturday a single probable monkeypox case in a Kansas City, Missouri, resident with recent out-of-state travel history.
“This week, one of our excellent nurses suspected one of our patients may have monkeypox virus,” said Dr. Marvia Jones, Director of the Kansas City Health Department. “We are considering this a probable case of monkeypox virus until we receive final confirmation from the CDC labs.”
Initial testing was completed Saturday, at the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory, and confirmatory testing for monkeypox is pending at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Based on initial epidemiologic characteristics and the positive orthopoxvirus result at the state laboratory, health officials consider this a probable monkeypox infection.
KCHD disease investigators are working to determine if the patient may have been in contact with anyone while infectious. Health officials will make a notification to any individuals if they are deemed at risk for exposure.
There is no indication there is a great risk of extensive local spread of the virus, as monkeypox does not spread as easily as the COVID-19 virus.
Person-to-person transmission is possible through close physical contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, items that have been contaminated with fluids or sores (clothing, bedding, etc.), or through respiratory droplets following prolonged face-to-face contact, according to the health department.
Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially serious viral illness, which belongs to the Orthopoxvirus family, and typically begins with flu-like symptoms and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body.
Most infections last 2 to 4 weeks. Monkeypox is typically endemic to parts of central and west Africa, and people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products.