ASHEVILLE, NC – July 22, 2022 – The first case of monkeypox has been identified in Buncombe County on July 21st. Public Health Director, Stacie Saunders said that “Monkeypox cases continue to rise across the country. While this is the first case in Buncombe County, with increasing national and statewide trends, it is likely there are more exposures and potential cases yet to be identified. It is very important to be aware of the symptoms of monkeypox and to seek out testing if you have any symptoms.” As of July 22nd, there have been 27 monkeypox cases in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
The Buncombe County Department of Health and Human Services (BCHHS) recommends that a person should get evaluated by a health care provider for a close contact to someone with monkeypox or for symptoms or physical signs. Tests can be performed by having a health care professional swab a skin lesion (a rash or sore). Samples must be sent to only those labs able to perform the analysis such as a public health lab and select commercial labs.
There is a limited supply of monkeypox vaccine that is available for treatment. The Biden administration is making a concerted effort to procure more monkeypox vaccine. The vaccine must be administered within 14 days of exposure. The BCHHS has the vaccine for administration at their office, at no charge, and at Community Health Clinics. The BC health department can transfer doses to other health departments in Western North Carolina. One hundred doses have already been sent to other regional providers. As of July 24th, Buncombe County has immunized 60 people, according to Stacie Saunders.
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Contact: Dick Needleman, Health reporter, 103.3 AshevilleFM, email@example.com