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Presumed monkeypox caseload rises in Nebraska

By: - July 20, 2022 6:20 pm
Monkeypox

In this Centers for Disease Control and Prevention handout graphic, symptoms of one of the first known cases of the monkeypox virus are shown on a patient’s hand June 5, 2003. (Courtesy of CDC/Getty Images)

OMAHA — Lancaster County has reported its first presumed case of monkeypox, which makes a total of five presumed or confirmed cases now in Nebraska, state officials said Wednesday.

The Lancaster County patient is a man in his 30s, with recent travel history outside Nebraska. He is “isolating” at home, the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department reported Tuesday. 

Health officials are investigating potential close contacts but don’t believe that his case is related to another in Nebraska. 

Douglas County has in recent weeks reported three presumed cases of monkeypox. Nebraska’s East Central District Health Department in Columbus has reported a presumed case, as well. 

Close to 2,000 cases have been reported in the U.S. and its territories since May, and the number continues to rise. Since the beginning of the current global outbreak, more than 14,000 cases have been reported worldwide, according to CDC data.

Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus and is primarily spread through close, skin-to-skin contact with someone who has the monkeypox rash. 

The risk to the public is considered low at this time, the Lancaster health department said, but added that it is important to be aware that the virus has been identified in the area. Anyone with an unexplained rash or other monkeypox symptoms is advised to contact their health care provider.

The rash can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body. The rash goes through different stages before healing is complete, and that process can take several weeks.

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Cindy Gonzalez
Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.

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