Monkeypox

Monkeypox in North Carolina.

566 Total number of cases.

Data as of September 29, 2022

NC Monkeypox Metrics. Updated Thursdays by 12:00PM.

97% Male

70% Black

20,017 Vaccines Administered

NCDHHS is reporting two monkeypox cases in people under the age of 18, both of whom are older adolescents. Neither had household exposure to the virus. The report also includes 10 cases in a female. For privacy reasons, NCDHHS will not provide additional information on these cases. 

Information for Health Departments

Monkeypox in North Carolina

North Carolina’s first case was identified on June 23, 2022. Nearly all monkeypox cases in North Carolina have been in men who have sex with men, consistent with findings from other jurisdictions. NCDHHS is working with local health departments and community partners to identify and respond to every case of monkeypox.  Addressing disparities and advancing health equity is central to our response. NCDHHS will publish demographic data weekly to provide insight into who in North Carolina is getting monkeypox and vaccines.

Current case summary and demographics

Monkeypox virus can be spread person-to-person through infected body fluids (including saliva and lesion fluid), items that have been in contact with infected fluids or lesion crusts, and respiratory droplets. The incubation period is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. People with monkeypox are infectious from the start of symptoms (before the rash forms) until the lesions heal and new skin forms underneath scabs and the scabs have all fallen off.

Monkeypox Testing

Testing is widely available and encouraged if you had close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, or have symptoms of monkeypox including unexplained bumps, sores, blisters, or pimples that look like monkeypox. There is no shortage of testing supplies, and people with symptoms of monkeypox should go to their health care provider or a or local health department to get tested. Samples must be collected by a health care professional, and they must follow a specific procedure to collect a good sample for testing. NCDHHS recommends providers test any patient with a suspicious lesion or sore.

Monkeypox Vaccinations 

Vaccines are available to protect against monkeypox or to reduce disease severity. NCDHHS has expanded the vaccine eligibility criteria to include:

  1. Anyone who had close contact in the past two weeks with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox; or
  2. Gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals, who are sexually active; or 
  3. People who have had sexual contact with gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men, or transgender individuals in the past 90 days; or
  4. People living with HIV, or taking medication to prevent HIV (PrEP), or who were diagnosed with syphilis in the past 90 days.

As of 8/19/2022, 18,448 doses of Jynneos have arrived in NC. More doses will become available under phase 4 of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s (HHS’s) National Vaccine Strategy.  A pilot program from the White House and HHS will also offer additional vaccines to states hosting large LGBTQI+ events. Find a list of vaccine locations.

Current vaccine administration and demographic data

General information on Monkeypox

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by an orthopox virus typically found in West and Central Africa. As such, most cases in the US, prior to 2022, have been travel associated. A previous outbreak in 2003 associated with pet rodents did result in local transmission in the US.

The disease typically begins with a prodrome of fever, exhaustion, headache, and sometimes sore throat and cough. Lymph nodes may swell in the neck, armpits, or groin, on one or both sides of the body. Shortly after the prodrome symptoms, a rash appears. In some of the recent cases, the first symptom was a rash. The rash goes through four stages; flat (macular), to raised (papular), to fluid-filled (vesicular), to pus-filled (pustular) and may umbilicate (the center may open or sink in) before scabbing over and resolving. This happens over a period of 2-3 weeks. Lesions may be all over the body, including the palms, feet, and head, or located only on specific body parts such as the genitals or around the buttocks. The rash may be painful and during healing stages may itch.

Monkeypox Resources

Monkeypox Communications Toolkit

Resources for Providers, Community Partners, Correctional Entities, and Local Health Departments (LHDs):

 

Resources for the Public

Brief History of Monkeypox

"Monkeypox" was so named because it was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys. It is most often found in small mammals such as rodents, including rats, mice, squirrels, rabbits and prairie dogs. The first outbreak of monkeypox in the U.S. was reported in 2003 among people who got sick after coming in contact with infected pet prairie dogs. Historically, most cases of monkeypox occurred after a person came into contact with an infected wild animal or animal product.