First Probable Case of Monkeypox Identified in New Hampshire
General public remains at low risk of exposure
Concord, NH – The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has identified the first probable case of monkeypox in the State. The patient is a resident of Rockingham County. Out of respect for patient privacy, no additional information about the patient can be released.
The New Hampshire Public Health Laboratories (PHL) conducted the initial testing that identified this probable case of monkeypox. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is conducting confirmatory testing. DHHS is working to identify others who may have been exposed.
“The first probable case of monkeypox in New Hampshire has been identified. While this is a concerning development, the risk to the general public is very low,” said Dr. Jonathan Ballard, DHHS Chief Medical Officer. “We are investigating this situation to determine whether additional people may have been exposed.”
Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by the monkeypox virus, which belongs to the same group of viruses as smallpox. Transmission of monkey pox requires close interaction with a symptomatic person. Brief interactions do not appear to be high risk; transmission has usually involved close physical or intimate contact or healthcare examinations conducted not using appropriate protective equipment.
Initial symptoms typically include fever, headache, exhaustion, muscle aches, sore throat, cough, and swollen lymph nodes. A few days after the start of these symptoms, a skin rash or skin spots appear that change over time. People with monkeypox are contagious until all skin lesions have scabbed over and fallen off a person’s skin. The illness usually lasts for 2-4 weeks. Symptoms are usually mild, but in rare cases a more severe illness can occur that might require hospitalization.
Any person with a new skin rash or skin lesions concerning for monkeypox, especially if accompanied by other monkeypox symptoms, should talk to their healthcare provider. Testing should be considered if the skin rash and other symptoms occurred:
- Within a few weeks after traveling to another country where monkeypox is being reported.
- After close contact to a person who has a similar skin rash, or who is suspected or confirmed to have monkeypox.
- After intimate physical or sexual contact with a partner, especially after intimate/sexual contact that occurred during travel.
The CDC identified 224 monkeypox cases in 26 states as of June 27, 2022. More information about the monkeypox outbreak is available on the CDC’s Monkeypox Outbreak 2022 website. For more information on monkeypox, please visit the DHHS Monkeypox webpage.