First Monkeypox case confirmed on Navajo Nation

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WINDOW ROCK, A.Z. –  The first case of Monkeypox was confirmed in McKinley County Wednesday by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Officials say the individual is a member of the Navajo Nation and is residing in McKinley County. 

“We continue to take a proactive approach to mitigate Monkeypox here on the Navajo Nation, through the establishment of the Monkeypox Preparedness Team that includes our health care experts and by engaging with federal health officials and the White House. Through these efforts, we’ve been able to secure doses of the Monkeypox vaccines and they will be available to the Navajo people soon. As cases of Monkeypox began to spread across the country and into the southwest, we knew we had to prepare. Just as we saw with COVID-19, it came to a point where every region surrounding the Navajo Nation was affected. Now, we have to listen to our public health experts and adhere to their guidance once again,” said President Nez.

Monkeypox can spread through skin-to-skin contact with infectious rashes, scabs, or bodily fluids through contact with respiratory secretions, or by touching objects, fabrics, and surfaces that have been used by someone with Monkeypox. 

Navajo Nation officials say the Office of the President and Vice President will hold an online town hall on Thursday, Aug. 25 at 10 a.m. on the Nez-Lizer Facebook page to provide more information.