UPDATE (2:20 p.m.): Dr. Rendi Murphee with the Mobile County Health Department held a press conference Friday afternoon to address the Alabama Department of Public Health’s confirmation of the state’s first case of monkeypox, which was identified in Mobile County.
Dr. Murphree said they confirmed that a Mobile County resident was positive for monkeypox on Thursday afternoon. Murphree said the patient traveled to three different states in 21 days before symptoms began.
“The patient had no known contact with a monkeypox patient, which emphasizes the importance of raising awareness for our community in general, but in particular, raising awareness for our healthcare community and those that are at most risk for infection,” said Murphree.
Dr. Murphree said MCHD is investigating the case. MCHD could not give any details about the patient.
“The patients’ behaviors, opportunities for exposure including in other states and in Mobile County, the illness onset date, the rash progression, age, sex, and other factors fit the pattern described nationally,” said Dr. Murphree.
According to the CDC, “many of those affected in the current global outbreaks are gay, bisexual, or other men who have sex with men.” But, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox can get the illness.
The investigation includes monitoring the patient and contacting everyone who recently came into contact with the patient.
“The MCHD worked with the Alabama Department of Public Health, the CDC, and the Strategic National Stockpile to complete the paperwork necessary to enroll Mobile County Health Department and the Infectious Disease Physicians in Mobile County in the investigational new drug protocol that is required by the SNS for the use of the anti-viral medicine, TPOXX, for patients who may benefit from this treatment,” said Dr. Murphree.
Jynneos is another vaccine that is authorized for post-exposure prophylaxis for people who have high or moderate risk with a confirmed patient. Murphree said both vaccines have been requested from the Strategic National Stockpile and will be in Mobile County tomorrow for the patient and those in contact with the patient.
According to Dr. Murphree, testing and results have a same-day turnaround. Someone who has been confirmed with a case of monkeypox is encouraged to use a separate bathroom from others at home and actively wipe down hard surfaces as the disease can live on surfaces, according to Murphree.
Quarantine is 21 days and people who come into close contact with someone who has monkeypox are encouraged to do so. The MCHD said they do not require patients to stay at home. You cannot transmit monkeypox until you show symptoms, according to Dr. Murphree. The MCHD will monitor symptoms for 21 days.
“We support all lifestyles, but we are going to continue to talk about having safe sex and maybe modifying lifestyles slightly until this outbreak is over,” said Dr. Murphree.
WATCH: Dr. Rendi Murphree provides an update following the first monkeypox case in Alabama
MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — The Alabama Department of Public Health confirmed that they and the Mobile County Health Department identified the state’s first case of monkeypox in Mobile County. The initial announcement came in a news release Friday morning. ADPH later confirmed the case was found in Mobile County.
More than 1,400 cases of the virus have been identified in 44 states. The MCHD will be holding a news conference Friday afternoon at 2:00 p.m.
No other details about the case have been released by the health department.
FULL RELEASE FROM MCHD:
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) and Mobile County Health
Department (MCHD) have identified the first case of monkeypox virus infection in Alabama. Both
organizations remain on alert for additional cases.
The patient’s specimen was tested by the ADPH Bureau of Clinical Laboratories (BCL), which is
part of the Laboratory Response Network (LRN) that responds to public health emergencies.
In this outbreak of monkeypox in the United States, approximately 1,470 cases have been
identified in 44 states and more are expected. Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to
person. But close, intimate, skin-to-skin contact appears to be the primary mode of transmission
in the current global outbreak. It is possible that contact with materials used by infected persons,
such as clothing and linens, can be a way to contract the virus. The virus typically enters the body
through broken skin, respiratory droplets, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth).
Symptoms in this most current outbreak have not been as typical as in previous cases of
monkeypox. Instead, persons will have a rash that starts out as flat spots, followed by raised spots,
then vesicles that are deep-seated, have a tiny spot in the middle of the vesicle, and may be itchy
The rash may only be on one part of the body. Some people may only have the rash and not develop
other symptoms such as fever, flu-like illness, headache, muscle aches, or fatigue.
The time between exposure to the virus and when the illness begins is about 7-14 days but can be
as long as 21 days. Some people who have had monkeypox have been men who have sex with
men, but any person exposed to a person with monkeypox and close skin-to-skin contact can be
Steps to help prevent monkeypox include the following:
• Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with a person who has monkeypox.
• Do not handle or touch the bedding, clothing, or towels of a person who has monkeypox.
• Have persons with monkeypox isolate away from others.
• Wash hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially
after contact with ill people who have monkeypox.
• Avoid contact with animals that could have the virus (such as animals that are sick or that
have been found dead).
Do not hesitate to get in touch with your healthcare provider if you believe you may have
monkeypox or have had close intimate contact with someone with a monkeypox rash.
Testing for monkeypox can be done at the ADPH BCL and some commercial laboratories. An
effective vaccine against monkeypox exists, but at this time there is no recommendation for
vaccination for those with no known exposure to confirmed cases. Antiviral treatment can be
considered in persons who have certain high-risk conditions, such as immunosuppression.
For more information about monkeypox, visit the ADPH monkeypox webpage at www.
alabamapublichealth.gov/monkeypox/or the CDC monkeypox webpage at www.cdc.gov/
For additional information, contact Dr. Burnestine Taylor with ADPH at 334-206-5325 or J. Mark
Bryant with MCHD at 251-690-8823.