NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro Public Health Department officials have confirmed the first case of monkeypox in Davidson County. The person infected recently traveled to a country which has reported monkeypox cases, according to health officials.

“That person is isolated at home and recovering,” Infectious Disease Dr. Joanna Shaw-KaiKai says.

Right now, health officials are working to identify anyone that person was around while they were infectious.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports monkeypox is the same family as smallpox. The majority of people with the disease recover in two to four weeks, but it can take longer for immunocompromised people.

So far, the infection has been mild and rarely fatal. People who have an appearance of new rashes with sores, bumps or fluid filled bumps should seek medical attention.

“We’re trying to find all the cases, the chains of transmission, people who are exposed [and] giving them these new vaccines to try to curtail the spread,” said Dr. William Schaffner of the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. “But, because close contact, skin-to-skin, is often sexual contact, it’s something the cases may not want to tell you about, because it involves sensitive information.”

According to the CDC, monkeypox can spread from person to person through a variety of ways.

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or bodily fluids
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact
  • Touching items like clothing or lines that previously were used by an infected person

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MPHD said it has sent off for confirmatory testing to be done at the CDC.

For more resources on monkeypox, visit the Tennessee Department of Health’s monkeypox page, the CDC monkeypox page or the CDC guidance for health care professionals.