Atracare Identifies 2 Patients with Monkeypox

Two cases suspicious of monkeypox (MPX) have come into Atracare and after having the specimens analyzed the state has since confirmed that monkeypox is present is Sussex County.  The first was diagnosed by Ashley Heisey, PA-C during a routine exam for an unrelated cause at our Lewes facility.  Heisey noticed the trademark lesions right away and inquired with the patient about them.  After examination and testing, her suspicions were confirmed and the diagnosis was handed down.

The other case was confirmed a day later as a Sussex County man, 46, according to the Division of Public Health.  Public health officials are trying to get in touch with the Sussex County man who initially reported symptoms on July 18 so they can inform him of his treatment choices and get a list of potential connections.

Dr. William Albanese is working with the State of Delaware so that Atracare Health can assist clients in understanding the symptoms and signs of monkeypox. According to him, Atracare can also provide testing, prevention, and discuss treatment choices such as immunizations. Dr. Rick Hong, the interim director of public health, stated that because monkeypox is spread through close, intimate contact with persons who have rashes or flu-like symptoms, the overall risk to the general public continues to be low.

“We urge people to educate themselves about this rare disease, including how it is spread, and to help prevent exposure. DPH will continue to work with medical providers to screen and identify individuals for MPX testing. And we will prioritize our limited supply of vaccine for people who have been exposed to MPX ​for post-exposure prophylaxis,” Hong said.

Signs and Symptoms

Typical signs include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Rash (can look like pimples or blisters that appear on all parts of the body)

It’s important to remember that transmission does not occur as much through the air since the virus does not aerosolize very well.  Instead it goes through microabrasions (small cuts) in the skin, respiratory tract, or through mucous membranes.  Since it doesn’t travel very well through the air, prolonged face to face contact is needed.

Right now there is no treatment available but the smallpox vaccine does offer some immunity and can be given after an exposure.  We do not carry the vaccine but the state does and will contact patients with know exposures.

For more information on monkeypox, look at the following websites.

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