MARION TWP. ‒ The first confirmed case of monkeypox has been reported in Beaver County.
YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh announced over the weekend that one person at its Camp Kon-O-Kwee Spencer in Marion Township is in quarantine after testing positive for the viral disease, which has been spreading across the United States over the last couple of months. This outbreak was first reported in early May in the United Kingdom.
Officials have not said whether the infected person in Beaver County was a camper or an employee. Earlier in the week, an employee at UPMC Children's Hospital in Pittsburgh also was diagnosed with monkeypox.
According to the Allegheny County Department of Health, the county had 38 confirmed monkeypox cases as of Aug. 10, according to its website. State officials have identified close to 300 cases in Pennsylvania so far. The Centers for Disease Control listed 11,177 cases in the nation as of Friday, according to its online tracker.
More: CDC monkeypox US Map
According to the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the first human case of monkeypox was recorded in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970. It was first discovered in 1958 in a colony of monkeys kept for research. Prior to the 2022 outbreak, monkeypox had been reported in people in several central and western African countries. But there was a smaller outbreak in 2003 in the United States.
Previously, almost all monkeypox cases in people outside of Africa were linked to international travel to countries where the disease commonly occurs or through imported animals. These cases occurred on multiple continents.
The World Health Organization declared the outbreak a public health emergency of international concern on July 23. U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra declared monkeypox a national public health emergency on Aug. 4.
The monkeypox virus, which is in the same family of viruses as smallpox, is generally caused by close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, according to the state health department. Symptoms can include a rash, lesions, fever, headache, muscle aches or backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion and respiratory ailments like sore throat, nasal congestion and cough. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. It is rarely fatal.
For more information on monkeypox go to https://www.health.pa.gov/topics/disease/Monkeypox/Pages/Monkeypox.aspx.
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Monkeypox case reported at Beaver County camp