RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed Virginia’s first case of monkeypox in a woman who recently traveled to an African country where the rare disease is known to occur.

The Virginia Department of Health said in a news release Thursday that the woman’s initial test was completed but the state was awaiting the CDC’s confirmation.

The patient, described only as a woman living in Northern Virginia, was not infectious when traveling and is currently isolating at home, the state’s health department said.

“Monkeypox is a very rare disease in the United States. The patient is currently isolating and does not pose a risk to the public,” Virginia Health Commissioner Colin M. Greene said in a statement Thursday.

VDH is identifying and monitoring the woman’s close contacts and said no other cases of the rare disease have been detected in Virginia at this time.

Transmission requires close contact with someone with symptomatic monkeypox, and this virus has not shown the ability to spread rapidly in the general population,” Greene’s statement continued.

The CDC said that monkeypox, a virus that originates in animals such as rodents and primates and sometimes moves on to people, causes patients to have a fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, headache, body aches and fatigue. Some who experience serious outcomes could develop a rash and lesions on their body.

The incubation period — the window from infection to symptoms — for monkeypox is typically 7 to 14 days, but could range from five to 21 days, according to the CDC. The illness often lasts between two to four weeks.

Patients can develop the rash, which often begins on the face and then spreads, within a day or three after getting a fever. But the CDC said that time window can be longer than three days.

While rare, monkeypox is potentially serious as the viral illness has shown to cause death in as many as 1 in 10 people in Africa who get infected, according to the CDC. The disease mostly spreads in central and western Africa through animals but rarely across borders.

VDH is asking people who are sick and have symptoms consistent with monkeypox to seek medical care, especially if they are in one of the following groups:

  • Those who traveled to central or west African countries, parts of Europe where monkeypox cases have been reported, or other areas with confirmed cases of monkeypox during the month before their symptoms began
  • Those who have had contact with a person with confirmed or suspected monkeypox
  • Men who regularly have close or intimate contact with other men, including meeting partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or at a bar or party