RALEIGH, N.C. (WGHP) — The first case of monkeypox in North Carolina has been confirmed by the State Laboratory of Public Health.

Monkeypox is a rare viral illness that has potentially serious consequences.

Symptoms of monkeypox include:

  • Flu-like symptoms
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • Rash including bumps that are filled with fluid before scabbing over

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) says that a monkeypox infection could easily be confused with sexually transmitted infections like syphilis or herpes. It could also be mistaken for chickenpox and infections usually last for around two-four weeks.

NCDHHS is working in cooperation with the CDC and local health departments to identify anyone who has been in close contact with the infected patient.

Transmission of monkeypox usually occurs through skin-to-skin contact. The infected patient is currently in isolation.

“The number of monkeypox cases has been growing in the U.S. and globally,” said Dr. Zack Moore, State Epidemiologist, and Epidemiology Section Chief. “Though this is the first confirmed case in North Carolina, we know there are likely other cases in the state. We are encouraging doctors to consider this in people who have a rash or skin lesion that looks like monkeypox.”

Since May 2022, 3,308 monkeypox cases have been identified outside of endemic regions worldwide, with 156 cases identified in the United States. There have been no deaths related to this outbreak. Epidemiologic investigation of these cases is ongoing. Information about international cases is available from the World Health Organization and information about U.S. cases is available from the CDC

People can take the following basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox:

  • See your health care provider if you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms
  • Keep the rash covered and avoid intimate contact with anyone
  • Use standard household cleaners to keep your home sanitized

More information can be found on the CDC website:
Signs and Symptoms
How it Spreads
Monkeypox Facts for People Who are Sexually Active