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Tioga County Public Health confirms first case of monkeypox, no threat to public

(Owego, NY) – Tioga County Public Health has confirmed its first case of monkeypox in the county. The department confirms this is an isolated case and there are no associated close contacts. There is no health risk to the general public at this time.

Tioga County Public Health is encouraging residents to be aware of the symptoms and take steps to reduce the risk of contracting the infection. Martha Sauerbrey, legislature chairwoman, says “Residents do not need to feel alarmed, and she has complete confidence in Tioga County Public Health to manage the situation.”

Monkeypox spreads through close physical contact between people. This includes:

• Skin-to-skin contact with monkeypox sores, rashes, or lesions
• Skin contact with fabric or dressings that have contacted sores, rashes, or lesions
• Sexual activity with single and/or multiple, partners that have monkeypox
• Prolonged, face-to-face contact where respiratory secretions are shared

Symptoms of monkeypox include:
• Rashes, bumps, or blisters on or around the genitals or in other areas like hands, feet, or face, which are not clearly due to something else
• Swollen lymph glands
• Potential flu-like symptoms such as fever, aches and pains, fatigue, and chills

It’s important to note an individual may experience all or only a few symptoms. The disease is contagious from the onset of symptoms or until the rash scabs have dried up and fallen off and the skin is healing well underneath.

Community members can reduce the risk of monkeypox by avoiding close face-to-face and skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a monkeypox-related rash or other symptoms, avoiding traveling to areas where monkeypox is present, and asking sexual partners if they have a rash or symptoms consistent with monkeypox.

If you are concerned about your risk to monkeypox or are experiencing symptoms, you should contact your primary care provider to assess your condition and help you take the appropriate next steps. A vaccine is available for those with high risk of infection, and antiviral medications are available to the infected. If you are uninsured or don’t have a healthcare provider, you can call 211 or 1-800-901-2180.

For more information on monkeypox, please visit https://health.ny.gov/diseases/communicable/zoonoses/monkeypox.