On Saturday, health officials said that they had identified what is likely to be the first case of monkeypox in Missouri. 

Officials said a resident of Kansas City who had recently traveled out of state had shown symptoms of the disease. State and local health officials are waiting for the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the results. Meanwhile, officials are notifying people who may have been in contact with the infected person.

Here’s what you need to know to better protect yourself from the disease: 

  • The disease is transmitted through human-to-human contact with skin lesions, bodily fluids or through large respiratory droplet.
  • Initial flu like symptoms occur before swelling of the lymph nodes occur. After several days, a rash appears that looks like chickenpox or smallpox, and that progresses over the course of a week or two.
  • The disease does not live on surfaces such as doorknobs or countertops. 
  • Smallpox vaccines effectively prevent monkeypox if given before or within a few days of exposure.
  • The average person should not be concerned about contracting the disease. Unlike, COVID-19, if exposed to the disease symptoms will occur requiring medical attention. 
  • If you come into contact with someone who might be exposed contact your medical doctor immediately. 

This year, 1,880 infections have been reported in more than 30 countries where monkeypox isn’t typically found.

Most of those cases have been found in Europe, but the CDC said Saturday that 113 cases of monkeypox have been found in the United States.