Wake County Public Health Identifies State’s First Cases of Monkeypox in Women

Wake County Public Health has identified confirmed cases of monkeypox in two women in our county. These are the first confirmed case of the virus in females in North Carolina. As with all other cases, no additional information about these residents will be disclosed.

“While this global outbreak appears to mostly affect men who have sex with other men, monkeypox is a public health concern for all of us,” said Rebecca Kaufman, Wake County Preventative Health Director. “Although there is a low level of risk from just being in the same area as someone who has monkeypox, it is always important to clean surfaces, wear a mask when needed and wash hands frequently.”

Monkeypox is transmitted person-to-person through direct skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions. Such contact often occurs during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex.

As of Aug. 25, there are 31 documented cases of the virus confirmed in Wake County.

Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder, and monkeypox is rarely fatal. The symptoms can include a fever and sores that can spread all over the body. Earlier this month, the monkeypox outbreak was declared a federal public health emergency, a move meant to help unlock resources to curb the spread.

To date, Wake County Public Health as administered more than 1,300 doses of the vaccine.

How to Request a Vaccine Appointment
Vaccines are available in limited supply, at no cost, for individuals with known or suspected exposure to monkeypox. This includes:

  • Anyone who had close contact in the past two weeks with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, or
  • Gay or bisexual men or transgender individuals who report any of the following in the last 90 days:
    • Having multiple sex partners or anonymous sex
    • Being diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection
    • Receiving medications to prevent HIV infection (PrEP)

To request a vaccination, visit wakegov.com/monkeypox and fill out the online self-attestation form; or call our monkeypox call center at 919-212-9398, Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Staying Updated
Visit Wake County’s multilingual monkeypox webpage for the latest updates on the county’s response to the virus. It features important vaccination, testing and resource information.

Also, look for important updates about COVID-19 on Wake County’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts. 

Press Release