NASHVILLE, Tenn. (September 29, 2022) – Metro Public Health Department officials confirm a total of 136 presumptive cases of monkeypox reported in Nashville/Davidson County in 2022. 108 of those 136 cases have recovered and are no longer in isolation. The total number of cases has grown by 7 in the past week.

Laboratory testing can detect the presence of an orthopoxvirus infection. Confirmatory testing is conducted by the CDC.

The MPHD Case Investigation Team works to identify and reach out to all potential contacts of each case. Contacts are interviewed and their appropriate form of potential treatment is determined.

MPHD staff have administered 1,420 doses of vaccine. Currently vaccine eligibility is limited to those who are known contacts of a monkeypox case, those who know their sexual partner had monkeypox in the past 14 days, those who had multiple sexual partners in the past 14 days, and men who have sex with men, transgender persons, gender non-binary persons or gender nonconforming persons who answer “yes” to one of the following in the past 90 days:

had multiple sex partners or anonymous sex.
been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection.
are living with HIV.
received PrEP for HIV.
Those who meet the eligibility requirements can schedule a vaccination appointment by calling the communicable disease line at 615-340-5632.

According to the CDC, monkeypox is a rare disease in the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal. The CDC states that the monkeypox virus can spread from person-to-person through:

direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact
touching items like clothing or linens that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
Although infection may begin with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion before the development of rash, many of the cases associated with the 2022 outbreak have reported very mild or no symptoms other than rash. People should be alert for the appearance of new rashes characterized by sores, bumps or fluid filled bumps and contact their primary care provider if they have questions.

The CDC reports that monkeypox can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. Most people recover in 2-4 weeks, but the disease can be serious in rare instances, especially for immunocompromised people, children, and those who are pregnant. People who do not have monkeypox symptoms cannot spread the virus to others. Contacts are monitored for several weeks, as it can take as many as 21 days after exposure for symptoms to develop.