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Broome County confirms first case of monkeypox

Healthcare workers with New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene help people register for the monkeypox vaccine at one of the City's vaccination sites, Tuesday, July 26, 2022, in New York. U.S. health officials said Thursday that the country’s monkeypox outbreak can still be controlled and eliminated, despite rising case numbers and concerns about limited vaccine supplies in many parts of the country. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

Broome County detected its first case of monkeypox. Health officials say it was only a matter of time. The risk of exposure remains low and there is no cause for panic. The patient is at home recovering and did not have contact with others. The county currently does not have any doses of the vaccine, which is in short supply. But Broome County Health Director Mary McFadden said they tried. 

“At this point, for our county, it’s specifically to treat, to give pre-exposure protection to people who were exposed,” McFadden said. “Since we don’t have any in our county that were exposed… we tried to get some, but were told no.” 

Symptoms of the monkeypox virus can appear one to two weeks after exposure. They include a rash or skin lesions, like pimples and blisters, and flu symptoms like fever, chills, headaches and muscle aches. People with symptoms should contact their health care provider and local health department. The virus spreads through direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. People who do not have symptoms cannot spread the virus.  

New York state is set to receive 170,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine. But the vaccine has virtually no availability in the Southern Tier. There have been more than 1,300 confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state, so far.