Health officials confirm first case of monkeypox in North Carolina

NORTH CAROLINA — Health officials have confirmed the first case of monkeypox in North Carolina Thursday.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services said it found the case by testing at the State Laboratory of Public Health. Atrium Health said the case was not in Charlotte.

“The number of monkeypox cases has been growing in the U.S. and globally,” said Dr. Zack Moore, state epidemiologist and epidemiology section chief. “Though this is the first confirmed case in North Carolina, we know there are likely other cases in the state. We are encouraging doctors to consider this in people who have a rash or skin lesion that looks like monkeypox.”

NCDHHS said its working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to notify people who may have been in contact with the person who was infected. That person is currently in isolation at home.

There are no confirmed cases of monkeypox in Mecklenburg County, the health department said. However, the county is preparing to offer the smallpox vaccine in limited monkeypox exposure and close contact cases. The smallpox vaccine is for monkeypox.

New York City is offering it to men who have sex with men and have had multiple or anonymous partners in the last 14 days. Mecklenburg County health officials said, at this time they are not offering it to the MSM group yet.

Since May 2022, There have been 3,308 monkeypox cases identified worldwide, with 156 cases identified in the United States. There have been no deaths released to the outbreak, according to NCDHHS.

Health officials said monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over.

More information on monkeypox can be found on the CDC website.

(WATCH BELOW: Monkeypox: What you need to know)