Monkeypox Detected in Niagara County Resident

Current risk to the general public is low

On July 25, Niagara County Department of Health (NCDOH) was notified by the NYS Wadsworth Center Laboratory that the first case of Orthopoxvirus/Monkeypox was detected in a Niagara County resident.

The NCDOH has interviewed the individual and concluded that no additional contacts exist.  In the event that contacts were identified, we would coordinate with the New York State Department of Health to provide post-exposure prophylaxis (vaccination) to Niagara County residents,” Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton said.

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection that does not usually cause serious illness but may result in hospitalization or death. People with monkeypox in the current outbreak generally report having close, sustained physical contact with other people who have monkeypox. Less common routes of transmission include respiratory droplets from prolonged face-to-face contact or contact with contaminated materials such as clothing or bedding. While many of those affected in the current outbreaks are men who have sex with men, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.

Monkeypox has an incubation time of one to three weeks after exposure and typically lasts two to four weeks. The illness typically starts with flu-like symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. A rash will develop one to three days after the onset of illness. The rash can look like pimples or blisters that can appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The rash starts as flat, red bumps, which can be painful, before turning into blisters and finally scabbing over.

“Monkeypox is primarily spread by close contact and exposure to an infected person’s skin lesions, other bodily fluids, or respiratory droplets,” indicated Adrienne Kasbaum, Niagara County Department of Health Director of Nursing.  “Anyone in close skin to skin contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Anyone who develops a new, unexplained rash on any part of the body should seek medical attention immediately and avoid contact with others. Unlike respiratory viruses that spread through exposure to infected respiratory aerosols or droplets, the general public is not at risk of exposure through usual everyday activities," Kasbaum added.

For additional information:

Niagara County Department of Health:

New York State Department of Health, Monkeypox:

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Monkeypox: