CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A possible sample of monkeypox has been sent to multiple parties as leaders look to confirm West Virginia’s second case.
State health officials announced the possible case from Kanawha County during Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing. The state Department of Health and Human Resources reported the state’s first case earlier this month; the individual is a Berkeley County resident.
The Kanawha-Charleston Health Department has determined the sample is likely monkeypox.
According to health officer Dr. Steven Eshenaur, the department shipped the sample to the state Office of Laboratory Services. The state office sent the sample to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.
Symptoms of monkey include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and a rash that looks like pimples or blisters on the face and hands.
Eshenaur said Wednesday that monkeypox is spread through close physical contact.
“It is not easily spread from human to human,” he told MetroNews affiliate WCHS-AM. “Regularly, routine conversation or talking to someone is typically not going to transmit monkeypox from one individual to another.”
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, health officials across the country have confirmed 4,639 monkeypox cases. New York and California have the highest number of confirmed cases.
Eshenaur said he does not think monkeypox will become a widespread health concern similar to the coronavirus, noting the challenges in spreading the monkeypox and the increasing public awareness.
“I think people are more cautious and more aware because we’ve been under a pandemic for the past two years,” he said. “COVID has affected almost every family in America in some way, shape or form, and because of that, I think we’ve become a little hypersensitized to a potential for another disease outbreak.”
West Virginia has received 213 doses of the monkeypox vaccine. Eshenaur noted the doses are reserved for people with known contact with someone with a confirmed monkeypox case.