Four monkeypox cases identified in Douglas County on Friday

Health department working to obtain more vaccine doses
Published: Aug. 5, 2022 at 3:21 PM CDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2022 at 5:09 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Douglas County Health Department said Friday that it had identified four more likely cases of monkeypox in the county. Bringing a total of 10 cases in the county.

On Friday afternoon, officials reported that contact tracing was initiated after two men were suspected of having monkeypox. In an updated news release received later that afternoon, the health department said it had identified two more, noting those cases were men younger than age 50.

”DCHD will not be releasing any additional details on these individuals to protect their privacy,” a spokesman said in the initial news release.

The health department is also asking for patience as officials work to secure more doses of the monkeypox vaccine.

“DCHD’s vaccine supply remains extremely limited and will be approved only for those individuals at the highest risk,” the email states.

The White House said Thursday it had made more than 1.1 million doses available and has helped to boost domestic diagnostic capacity to 80,000 tests per week.

Including these most recent cases, Douglas County has had 10 known cases of monkeypox.

DCHD has advised previously that anyone in close contact with an infected person or who has had several minutes of skin-to-skin contact with an infected person has a risk of infection. Monkeypox is also spread through contact with rashes, scabs, or body fluids from an infected person.

Anyone who may have symptoms of monkeypox — especially its characteristic rash that looks like pimples or blisters — should contact a healthcare provider or the health department.

On Thursday, the federal government declared a public health emergency related to the virus in order to free up funds to address its spread.

The first case of monkeypox was reported in Nebraska on June 27. The CDC website on Friday indicated that there were a total of 10 cases identified in the state, but it’s not clear where in the state those cases are.

The Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported two suspected cases on Thursday, bringing the total there to three cases.

KOLN 10/11 Now and The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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