First probable case of monkeypox reported in St. Louis City

Published: Jul. 12, 2022 at 11:19 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Tuesday, the St. Louis Health Department is investigating a possible case of monkeypox.

Following confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), this would be the first case in St. Louis City. Health Director Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis said the person contracted the virus while traveling out of the state but they had minimal contact with others.

“Through this individual’s cooperation with the Department of Health, we believe their minimal contact with other individuals will help contain the spread of this virus within our community,” said Davis. “At the same time, it is important that if anyone develops symptoms of monkeypox, they should contact their medical provider immediately and avoid direct contact with others. For a lot of the people that we’ve seen in the Missouri cases so far, they haven’t really been that uncomfortable. Pain is not something we tend to see here but I’m not ruling that out. We’re currently working with the state as to what can be done around precuring some vaccines, and depending on the number--how we will prioritize allocation of those vaccines.”

The CDC identified three previous cases of monkeypox in Missouri. The first two in the Kansas City area and the most recent in Springfield.

“I don’t think St. Louis will be different,” said Dr. Farrin Manian, infectious disease specialist with Mercy St. Louis. “I think our diagnosis and prevention through vaccination has been lagging, somewhat behind.”

Dr. Manian said Africa is the only continent who has had to seriously deal with this problem.

“It is an unusual disease,” he said. “Many countries that it is affecting right now are not used to dealing with this.”

Experts report the disease isn’t as deadly as its small pox or as contagious as COVID. There are no other suspected cases right now.

Symptoms include a rash, headache, muscle aches, chills, exhaustion and fever.