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VDH: First presumed case of monkeypox discovered in Virginia

Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner
CDC via AP
Monkeypox, a disease that rarely appears outside Africa, has been identified by European and American health authorities in recent days.

The Virginia Department of Health has discovered the first presumed case of monkeypox in the Commonwealth.

In a statement, the department says it’s still waiting on the Centers for Disease Control to confirm its preliminary testing.

The female individual resides in northern Virginia and recently returned from an African country where the disease is known to occur. VDH says she wasn’t infectious during travel and didn’t require hospitalization.

The woman is isolating at home and the health department is identifying and monitoring close contacts. Officials believe any threat to the greater public is very low.

Monkeypox is a rare, but potentially severe, virus that is spread through close contact with an infected individual or animal. Illness typically starts with symptoms like a fever and muscle aches, but then a rash spreads from the face to other parts of the body. Most individuals recover within four weeks.