Amjad: State still awaiting official confirmation on monkeypox case

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The state Department of Health and Human Resources is still awaiting confirmation on a possible monkeypox case in Berkeley County.

Monkeypox or orthopox is a family of viruses and it contains viruses such as smallpox, horsepox, cowpox, camelpox, and many other -pox viruses of animals.

Dr. Ayne Amjad

State Health Officer Dr. Ayne Amjad said again this week that health officials believe the Berkeley County case is monkeypox.

“We did not get the confirmation yet from the CDC however they’re still probable cases due to the fact that they are in the Orthopox family. So, even though we didn’t get the confirmation yet, we are pretty confident in that case,” Amjad said.

She first announced the case as a probable case on July 8.

Amjad said Tuesday during Gov. Jim Justice’s media briefing that there is a vaccine for monkeypox.

“There is a vaccine but it’s just for high-risk individuals right now who are exposed to a patient with monkeypox or a healthcare provider, Amjad said. “West Virginia did not get any vaccines because we didn’t get any cases, we will get the vaccines this week.

Amjad said once West Virginia gets the vaccine, each county can distribute one.

“We did send out information to health departments in counties for them to select one person in that area who would want to get a vaccination in case they come into contact with monkeypox,” Amjad said.

There are now nearly 2,000 lab-confirmed cases of monkeypox in the United States, according to the CDC.

According to the DHHR, monkeypox can spread through close, prolonged contact with an infected person. This may include coming into contact with skin lesions or body fluids, sharing clothes or other materials that have been used by an infected person, or inhaling respiratory droplets during prolonged face-to-face contact. Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, or a rash that looks like acne or blisters.

Story by Chayse Matheny

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