A Florida hospital nurse was exposed to monkeypox through a needlestick in July, representing the nation’s first confirmed case from a healthcare exposure, the CDC said Oct. 17.
The emergency department nurse was exposed July 12 when recapping a needle that was used to pierce a lesion on a patient to access fluid for testing. The patient tested positive for monkeypox later that day.
The nurse received the first dose of Jynneos’ monkeypox vaccine 15 hours after the needlestick and continued to work over the following days while wearing a surgical mask and rubber gloves. Ten days after exposure, the nurse developed a skin lesion at the site of the needlestick and tested positive for monkeypox. The nurse isolated at home for 19 days, and no secondary cases were identified.
“CDC advises against unroofing, opening or aspirating monkeypox lesions with sharp instruments (e.g., needles) and recapping used needles because of the risk for sharps injuries,” the agency said. “Because of the reliability and sensitivity of real-time PCR assays used, vigorous swabbing of the outer surface of a lesion is adequate to collect enough viral material for testing and will minimize the potential for needlesticks.”