Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

First monkeypox case identified in Virginia

image of virus
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Virginia Department of Health have identified Virginia’s first known case of monkeypox. Currently, nine cases in seven states have been identified nationwide.

A Northern Virginia woman was presumed positive on Thursday. She had recently traveled to a country where the disease is known to occur. She has not been hospitalized, though the disease can be serious or deadly.

In a release, State Health Commissioner Colin Greene said the sick woman is “currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public.”

“Transmission requires close contact with someone with symptomatic monkeypox, and this virus has not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population,” Greene continued. “Based on the limited information currently available about the evolving multi-country outbreak, the risk to the public appears to be very low.”

Monkeypox generally takes 7 to 14 days to incubate and for symptoms to start - individuals are not contagious during this time.

The illness generally begins with flu-like symptoms, followed by rashes across the body that become raised and filled with liquid.

Officials say if you or someone you know develops symptoms like these, contact your healthcare provider by phone or messaging.


Patrick Larsen is VPM News' environment and energy reporter, and fill-in host.