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Greene County has first probable case of monkeypox in latest outbreak

A person infected with monkeypox
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A person infected with monkeypox.

The Springfield-Greene County Health Department said it has contacted those who may have been exposed.

Greene County has its first reported case of monkeypox.

The Springfield-Greene County health department said in a statement Tuesday a resident tested positive for the virus, which causes symptoms including fever, headaches, chills, body aches, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion and the characteristic monkeypox blisters on the face, hands, chest, genitals, anus or inside the mouth.

The virus is transmitted through close, often skin-to-skin contact with an infected person.

When the Springfield-Greene County Health Department has a suspected case, administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology Kendra Findlay said public health officials interview the patient and then contact the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to start testing.

"We take samples and send those off to (the) Missouri State Public Health Lab to look for orthopox—the virus that causes monkeypox," said Findlay. "At the state public health lab, they'll run that monkeypox test. If it's positive, they'll send it off to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) for confirmatory monkeypox testing."

She said the Greene County case is a positive orthopox, and it is being sent to the CDC for further testing.

Because the only circulating orthopox right now is monkeypox, said Findlay, "we have to assume that what our case has is monkeypox."

The health department asks those with symptoms or anyone with close contact with someone who’s tested positive to schedule a virtual meeting with their doctor to avoid further exposures.

This monkeypox case is the third confirmed in Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Josh Conaway is a graduate of Missouri State University with a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in International Affairs. He works as a news reporter and announcer at KSMU. His favorite part of the job is exploring the rich diversity of the Ozarks and meeting people with interesting stories to share. He has a passion for history and running.
Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.