Alabama health officials said Friday the state’s first confirmed case of monkeypox has been detected in Mobile.
The virus has caused 1,470 cases of monkeypox nationwide in 44 states. More than 11,000 cases have been detected worldwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Monkeypox causes flu-like symptoms that can include fever, chills, headaches and muscle aches. The virus also causes a rash that looks like pimples or blisters that appear on the hands, face, mouth, genitals or chest, according to the CDC.
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Monkeypox does not spread easily, according to the Alabama Department of Public Health. The illness appears to transmit during close skin-to-skin contact. Any person who is exposed to the virus may become ill, but some of the cases detected in the United States have occurred among men who have sex with men, according to ADPH.
The Alabama Department of Public Health and Mobile County Health Department are watching for additional cases, according to a press release. There is a vaccine for monkeypox, but it is not yet recommended for people with no known exposure to the virus in Alabama.
People who think they may have been exposed to monkeypox are encouraged to speak to their healthcare provider. The Alabama Department of Public Health and CDC also have websites with more information about the virus.