Island Health confirms a case of monkey pox in the South Island

Island Health says a case of monkey pox in a person living in the South Island has been confirmed by lab tests.

Public health teams are following up the case, including managing contacts identified through contact tracing.

In a statement, Island Health said the public health team received confirmation of the matter on Thursday, but sent the message to the public on Friday.

Island Health says the risk to the public is very low and the virus is spread through personal contact.

Vaccinations are provided to high-risk contacts identified through Island Health contact tracing.

It can take five to 21 days for symptoms to appear, but usually appear within the first two weeks after exposure.

The disease has two stages. The first are flu-like symptoms, followed by a rash, usually with sores and blisters.

People are considered contagious from the time symptoms first appear, until the sores crust, dry and new skin is visible.

“Most people with monkeypox have mild symptoms and do not require specific interventions,” Island Health said in a statement. “Treatment for monkeypox remains supportive and symptom-focused (e.g., fever control, hydration support, treatment of secondary infections).”

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