Public Health Advisory: Mpox Cases and Exposures Are Rising Among Mecklenburg County Residents

Public Health leaders report an alarming trend with mpox in Mecklenburg County. Since the start of the year the number of reported mpox cases has risen steadily in the region. 

Health officials are very concerned about the growing number of individuals, including children, who were potentially exposed to individuals with active mpox infections. It’s important to note the only mpox transmission thus far has involved close physical/sexual contact. However,  residents should take precautions even when the risk is low or intermediate. 

“While these exposures were isolated, in order to protect those most vulnerable to this virus, we need residents to be aware of mpox symptoms and to act quickly and responsibly if they have any symptoms of mpox, including isolating from others,” said Mecklenburg County Public Health Director Dr. Raynard Washington. “I also encourage anyone at higher risk for mpox, specifically those who engage in high-risk or anonymous sexual activity, to get vaccinated as soon as possible. Vaccines are available at no cost at Public Health clinics.” 

There were 10 confirmed cases of mpox among Mecklenburg County residents reported in February, up from six in January.  Nearly 120 residents, including some children, were potentially exposed to those 16 confirmed cases.

The following are common symptoms for mpox:

  • Fever and/or chills
  • Headache and/or body aches
  • Swollen lymph nodes (tender lumps near the neck, jaw, armpits, and groin)
  • Exhaustion
  • A skin rash on any part of the body, including the genitals, with lesions (sores)
  • Rash can be as small as one or two bumps or cover the entire body
  • Lesions can look like bumps, warts, pimples, sores, or scabs

Vaccines are available at no cost and are effective at reducing risk of mpox infection and disease severity. Vaccines are available by appointment by calling MCPH at 704-336-6500 or walking in to a Public Health clinic during business hours:

Additional Info:

  • Illness typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks, during which the skin lesions will change in shape and size before scabbing over and falling off. The person is considered contagious until all the lesions have healed and new skin is intact.
  • If you think you might have mpox and have the symptoms listed above WITHOUT a new, unexplained skin rash, isolate for 72 hours. If a rash develops, get tested. If your test is negative, you may get vaccinated.
  •  If you think you might have mpox and have the symptoms listed above WITH a new, unexplained skin rash, avoid close contact with other people and contact a health care provider immediately to be tested. If your test is negative, you may get vaccinated.