Delaware Division Of Public Health Reports Two New Cases Of Monkeypox; Risk To Public Remains Low

DOVER, DE (July 21, 2022) ­– The Delaware Division of Public Health (DPH) is announcing the state’s second and third cases of the monkeypox virus (MPX). Both cases are considered probable pending confirmatory testing by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

This week, DPH received test results showing that a 46-year-old Sussex County man tested positive for MPX. The patient did not report any travel, and first reported symptoms on July 18. DPH is working to contact the patient to inform them about treatment options and interview them to obtain a list of possible contacts.

Additionally, DPH received test results this week showing that a 25-year-old Kent County man tested positive for MPX. The patient did not report any travel, and first reported symptoms on July 14. The patient has been advised to self-isolate until lesions have fallen off and new skin appears. 

“The overall risk to the public is low and remains low,” said DPH Interim Director Dr. Rick Hong. “MPX is transmitted through close intimate contact with individuals who have rashes or flu-like symptoms. We urge people to educate themselves about this rare disease, including how it is spread, and to help prevent exposure. DPH will continue to work with medical providers to screen and identify individuals for MPX testing. And we will prioritize our limited supply of vaccine for people who have been exposed to MPX ​for post-exposure prophylaxis (PEP).”

Beginning July 21, DPH will operate a hotline for individuals with specific concerns because of symptoms or possible exposure. The hotline number is 866-408-1899 and the number will operate with the following hours: 

  • Monday – Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Currently, there is no specific treatment for the monkeypox virus infection​; however, antivirals, can be prescribed. DPH has received a limited supply of the vaccine, which needs to be given in two doses 28 days apart. Those who are at the highest risk of exposure to the virus include:

  • People who have been identified as a contact of someone with MPX
  • People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past two weeks was diagnosed with MPX
  • People who had multiple sexual partners in the past two weeks in an area with known MPX

Until spring 2022, MPX cases were rare in the United States. Today, there are more than 2,300 cases nationwide, with Delaware announcing its first case on July 12, 2022, involving a 41-year-old New Castle County patient.

Signs and Symptoms

The symptoms of MPX are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus. Most people who contract MPX will develop a rash, and some will develop flu-like symptoms beforehand. The flu-like symptoms may include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, sore throat, cough, swollen lymph nodes, chills, or exhaustion. If someone has flu-like symptoms, they usually will develop a rash one to four days later.

If you suspect you are experiencing any symptoms associated with MPX you should immediately:

  • Contact your health care provider and discuss your symptoms and concerns.
  • Self-isolate until all lesions have resolved, the scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of intact skin has formed.
  • Avoid being intimate with others.
  • Make a list of your close and intimate contacts in the last 21 days.

To prevent infection with MPX:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like MPX.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with MPX.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with MPX.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with MPX.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with MPX.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

To learn more about MPX management and prevention programs and resources, visit