IOWA (KCAU) — The Iowa Department of Health and Human Services reported Friday that the first probable case of monkeypox virus infection was found in a North Central Iowa adult.

A release from HHS states that the patient was likely infected during international travel and is currently isolating, receiving outpatient care, and is in regular communication with health department staff.

HHS staff and local public health are conducting a contact tracing operation to identify others that may be at risk. People who have been in close contact are asked to watch for symptoms of illness and can receive a vaccine series that can help prevent symptoms and severe illness.

The HHS release states that monkeypox does not spread without close contact like direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids or respirator secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact.

It is asked that anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox talk to their healthcare provider even if they haven’t had contact with someone they know has had the disease.

People who may be at risk might include but are not limited to:

  • Had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox.
  • Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., a bar or party).
  • Traveled outside the US to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing.

More information about the virus and how to limit infection risk can be found on the monkeypox page on the CDC website.