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Local health officials respond to case of monkeypox in south Georgia

Posted at 6:54 PM, Aug 04, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-04 18:54:29-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — The Biden administration has declared monkeypox as a public health emergency.

Cases have been on the rise across the U.S. recently.

Since the first U.S. monkeypox case was identified in mid-May, more than 6,600 probable or confirmed cases have been detected across the country.

The South Georgia Health District says the Atlanta metropolitan area has seen an increase in monkeypox cases now it's spreading to more rural parts of Georgia.

So far, one confirmed case is in South Georgia, but that county is not being released.

Monkeypox can be spread through physical contact like kissing and contact with a person who has the rash.

Health officials are still warning people not to panic but be aware.

That's the approach universities like Florida A&M is having regarding the monkeypox outbreak.

Tanya Tatum director of student health services at FAMU says there plan is to educate their students on how monkeypox is spread.

Tatum says they're working with their local health department and if an outbreak happens they're prepared.

"We would identify any close contacts. We have a plan in place to do you know some sanitization and to make sure we can clean areas," Tatum said.

Tatum says making sure student housing is clean and helping students identify who they were around is the best way to track down an outbreak.

The South Georgia Health District says this is virus is not covid and people should not compare the two.

Vaccines are available at the Lowndes County Department of Health by appointment only.

Kristin Patten with the South Georgia Health District says they have a vaccine for this virus and people should not panic.

"We do want people to be aware that it is something that is present within our state and so they do need to remain very vigilant they do need to be cautious," Patten said.

Patten says keeping an eye on the symptoms and if you have an unknown rash, stay home and quarantine until you get tested.