TOPEKA, Kan. — A probable case of monkeypox has been identified in Shawnee County, Kansas according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

KDHE, working with the Shawnee County Health Department, identified the case based on testing at the Kansas Health and Environmental Laboratories and close contacts within the household.

According to KDHE, the individuals were exposed to an out-of-state visitor. All impacted individuals are working with KDHE to notify contacts who may have been exposed.

The monkeypox virus can be spread through close skin-to-skin contact with an infected individual. In the case of children, this could include, holding, cuddling or feeding children. Additionally, it could be shred through items such as towels, linens, cups or utensils that contain the virus.

A vaccine for monkeypox is available to those with a known high-risk exposure to a person with confirm monkeypox disease.

According to KDHE, a typical case of monkeypox involves symptoms of fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion followed by the appearance of a rash that can take on the appearance of pimples or blisters. These may appear on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body like hands, feet, chest or genitals.

Risk factors for monkeypox infection include the following scenarios within 21 days of first symptom onset:

  • Contact with a person or people with a similar appearing rash or who received a diagnosis of confirmed or probable monkeypox, or
  • Close or intimate in-person contact with individuals in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, including meeting partners through an online website, digital app or social event, or
  • Recent travel outside the US to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where the monkeypox virus is endemic, or
  • Contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that is an African endemic species or used a product derived from such animals (game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.) 

If you think that you have been exposed to monkeypox or are exhibiting monkeypox-like symptoms, contact a health care provider.

Previously, KDHE identified a positive case for Monkeypox in Johnson County on July 9. This was the first presumptive positive case of monkeypox in Kansas.