JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The Mississippi State Department of Health, along with the Centers for Disease Control, issued a Health Alert for the monkeypox virus.

Clusters of monkeypox cases have been reported in several countries that don’t normally have monkeypox since Saturday, May 14, 2022. Previous cases have been associated with travel from Nigeria. However, most of the recent cases don’t have direct travel-associated exposure risks.

A Massachusetts resident presented with possible symptoms of monkeypox on Tuesday, May 17. The CDC confirmed the person was infected on Wednesday, May 18. CDC leaders said the person is isolated and doesn’t pose a threat to the public.

There have been no confirmed cases in Mississippi as of Friday, May 20.

The Health Alert was issued to ask clinicians to be vigilant to the characteristic rash associated with monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a zoonotic infection endemic to several Central and West African countries. The wild animal reservoir is unknown. The rash associated with monkeypox features firm, well-circumscribed, deep-seated and umbilicated lesions.

CDC leaders believe the risk to the public is low at this time. People who may have symptoms of monkeypox should contact their healthcare provider for a risk assessment. This includes anyone who (1) traveled to countries where monkeypox cases have been reported (2) reports contact with a person who has a similar rash or received a diagnosis of confirmed or suspected monkeypox or (3) is a man who has had close or intimate in-person contact with other men in the past month, including through an online website, app, or at a bar or party.

Read the full Health Alert here.