Updated as of Aug. 20 at 12:12 p.m. to include Town of Elon Mayor Emily Sharpe.
Alamance County has identified its first case of monkeypox, according to the Alamance County Health Department.
A representative from the health department was not available for comment.
According to the health department, it was notified about the first case of monkeypox on Aug. 18 and is working to identify close contacts of the affected person.
The affected individual is currently in isolation at home, and no further information about them will be released in order to protect their privacy.
As of Aug. 19, there are 216 cases of monkeypox in North Carolina, according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.
The NCDHHS defines monkeypox as a rare but potentially serious viral illness. Monkeypox typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes and skin lesions that fill with fluid before scabbing over. It is transmitted from person to person through close, skin-to-skin contact, though it is not a sexually-transmitted infection. Monkeypox infections usually last two to four weeks.
In a previous interview with Elon News Network, Dean of Students Jana Lynn Patterson students who become symptomatic should make an appointment with Student Health Services to receive guidance from a healthcare provider. If the case is determined to be monkeypox, the ACHD will be contacted, and it will guide the student through the next steps regarding contact tracing and vaccination.
“We're going to spend some time helping folks understand how they can reduce their risks, what the symptoms are and where they can get access and how they can get tested if they feel like they need to be tested,” Patterson said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends avoiding physical contact, sharing utensils or handling the bedding or clothing of anyone with monkeypox. Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
The HealthEU website is now live and includes information about COVID-19, monkeypox and other illnesses pertaining to the Elon community.
Elon Mayor Emily Sharpe said the town has no plans to date and will follow the guidance of the health department. She told Elon News Network that she spoke with Stephen Morse, professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, about monkeypox.
“To sum up his advice that is backed by much experience and knowledge of monkeypox – COVID remains a greater threat at this time, and when we take actions that prevent the spread of COVID, we also take action to prevent the spread of monkeypox,” Sharpe said.