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Connecticut DPH announces first case of monkeypox in state

WTIC Hartford logo WTIC Hartford 7/5/2022 Doug Stewart (FOX61), Elisha Machado (FOX61)

A man in his 40s has been diagnosed with the first case of monkeypox in Connecticut, according to officials.

The Connecticut Department of Public Health said the man is a resident of New Haven County. Officials said the patient is isolating and has not been hospitalized. DPH declined to release any further patient information.

Officials could not say where the first case contracted the virus.

Health Commissioner Dr. Manisha Juthani says monkeypox is primarily transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact and those who are diagnosed have relatively mild symptoms. Juthani said Connecticut’s first patient was stable enough to self-isolate at home.

“The clear message right now is that the risk to the general public is pretty low. We do need to be alert and aware,” Dr. Juthani said.

RELATED: WHO panel: Monkeypox not a global emergency 'at this stage'

Juthani said the numbers are increasing nationwide and the state should expect more cases in the weeks ahead.

"If you have an unusual rash, if you have been exposed to somebody whose had monkeypox, if you’ve traveled to a country where monkeypox cases have been identified, these would be things to be worried about. In terms of the general population, I don’t think you need to be overly concerned,” Dr. Juthani said.

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Dr. Juthani said testing is primarily done by swabbing a lesion and sending it to the state public health lab. She said vaccines are available for people in Connecticut who are doing testing and for people who have had close personal exposure to an identified case.

The federal government has ordered more than 4 million doses of the vaccine to respond to the monkeypox outbreak, according to HHS.

Over the past month, DPH has raised awareness of monkeypox among higher-risk populations, alerted and educated local medical professionals, and informed local health departments throughout the state to monitor for cases. 

RELATED: No, the COVID-19 vaccine can’t give you monkeypox

For Connecticut residents that are concerned about fever, swollen glands, and a new rash, please contact your health care provider for evaluation.

Health care providers should request orthopoxvirus testing for patients at the state public health laboratory by calling the DPH Epidemiology Program at (860) 509-7994.

Doug Stewart is a digital content producer at FOX61 News. He can be reached at dstewart@fox61.com.

Elisha Machado is a reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at emachado@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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