The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is reporting the first death of a person diagnosed with monkeypox, now known as “mpox,” in Virginia. The patient was an adult resident of the Eastern Health Region of Virginia.
“Our thoughts are with the decedent’s family at this difficult time,” said State Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene, MD, MPH. “Mpox is a serious disease, especially for those with weakened immune systems. If you have been exposed to mpox or have symptoms consistent with the disease, we urge you to seek medical consultation now.”
People should contact their healthcare provider if they have fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes and a new, unexplained rash. People who are diagnosed with mpox should stay home and avoid close contact with others until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
For most people, infection with mpox is painful but not life threatening.
Mpox is a preventable disease that spreads from person to person through close contact. There are things everyone can do to help prevent the spread of mpox:
- Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with someone with a new, unexplained rash.
- Do not share cups, utensils, bedding or towels with someone who is sick.
- Stay home when you are sick.
- Wash your hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with infected people or animals.
- Wear a mask in situations where you may have lengthy or close face-to-face contact with people who may be infected.
- For those eligible, consider discussing the JYNNEOS vaccine with your healthcare provider.
People who may have been exposed to mpox should receive the vaccine as soon as possible to reduce the chance of developing mpox after exposure. The vaccine is most effective if administered within 4 days of exposure, but it may be administered up to 14 days after exposure.
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