JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) confirmed six cases of monkeypox in Mississippi as of Thursday, August 4.

Leaders with the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) confirmed the first case in the state on Monday, July 25. The CDC does not provide information about monkeypox cases by county at this time.

A total of 7,102 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the United States.

In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a global emergency.

Monkeypox, clinically known as orthopox, is a disease related to smallpox—or variola—though monkeypox is typically less severe.

Health experts said transmission can occur with close skin-to skin contact – kissing, cuddling or sex – with an infected person. Transmission can also occur by touching clothing or linens, bedding, or towels of an infected person, or inhaling the respiratory droplets during prolonged close contact with an infected person.

Symptoms may start out as a fever, swollen lymph nodes, headache, and muscle aches, followed by a rash that starts out as flat and then advances to pimples, or blisters and ulcers on the face, body and private parts (sexual organs). The rash can be itchy and painful. It can be confused with sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis and herpes, or with chickenpox. 

The illness typically lasts two to four weeks.

Medical providers are encouraged to consider monkeypox infection and to notify MSDH when evaluating patients with a rash, especially if there are known risk factors.

You can view a map of confirmed monkeypox cases by state on the CDC’s website.