clinic supervisor

Holly Leslie, health department clinic supervisor, said the health department is prepared to follow CDC guidelines regarding potential monkeypox cases.

The St. Joseph Health Department is staying alert after a reported probable monkeypox case in Kansas City, Missouri.

According to a news release, a nurse at the Kansas City Health Department suspected a case of monkeypox and initial testing was completed Friday. The test showcased that the infection was a probable case of monkeypox and a sample has been sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for further testing.

Contact tracing has started through the Kansas City Health Department, and with Kansas City being just over 40 miles away from St. Joseph, the St. Joseph Health Department is staying vigilant.

The St. Joseph Health Department has been in contact with the Kansas City Health Department and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services for necessary information.

St. Joseph Health Department Clinic Supervisor Holly Leslie said contact tracing is extremely important when any new sort of virus pops up.

“This is really where health departments come in, is we do a lot of contact tracing, we do that for any kind of spreadable disease,” Leslie said.

A news release sent out by Missouri DHSS stated, “According to federal health officials, clinicians should consider a diagnosis of monkeypox in people who present with a consistent rash, especially if they 1) had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox, as having skin-to-skin contact which includes men who have sex with men who meet partners online, or at a social event as well as people who have recently traveled.”

Leslie said people should go to their doctor if symptoms arise, or if they do not have a primary care provider, look into going to the Social Welfare Board.

“We are keeping an eye out for it, and the CDC has very clear guidelines as far as if this happens do this ... they have already put measures in place of how to deal with this should it come,” Leslie said.

Monkeypox is presented in bumps similar to chicken pox and usually starts with a fever and flu-like symptoms. People are no longer contagious after the rash goes away, but symptoms can typically last two to four weeks or longer.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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