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LIBERTY, Mo. — A resident in Clay County, Missouri is confirmed to have the first case of monkeypox in the county, according to the Clay County Public Health Center.

With the goal of preventing further spread, Clay County communicable disease prevention staff have provided isolation guidance to the patient and are in the process of communicating with anyone who may have come into close contact with the patient while they were infectious.

The health department says the monkeypox virus is most often spread through direct contact with a rash or sores of someone who has the virus. It can also spread through contact with clothing, bedding and other items used by a person with monkeypox, or from respiratory droplets that can be passed through prolonged face-to-face contact.

Anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms (such as fever, chill, exhaustion, etc.) or an unexplained rash on or near the genitals, hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth should call their healthcare provider as soon as possible.

“It’s important for everyone to understand that although the threat to our community at-large is still low at this point, anyone, regardless of gender identity or sexual orientation, can get and spread monkeypox,” said Ashley Wegner, section chief of Health Planning & Policy.

People who are deemed high or medium risk of exposure are eligible to receive post-exposure vaccination with the JYNNEOS vaccine.

The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department is currently offering vaccination for the northwest region of Missouri. High-risk Missourians who are 18 years or older and meet criteria can seek vaccination by accessing the confidential survey on the KCHD website.

At this time, there have been 103 confirmed monkeypox cases in Missouri and 25,613 cases across the United States.

Most people recover within 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious, especially for immunocompromised people, pregnant people and children.

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