3 probable cases of monkeypox reported in Tennessee

This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows mature, oval-shaped monkeypox virions, left, and spherical immature virions, right, obtained from a sample of human skin associated with the 2003 prairie dog outbreak. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC via AP, File)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Three probable cases of monkeypox have been announced in Tennessee.

The first case was reported last week in a Nashville resident and two more cases in Davidson County have been identified since then, the Metro Nashville Public Health Department told news outlets. None of the patients are close contacts, health officials said.

Monkeypox belongs to the same virus family as smallpox, but its symptoms are milder. Most patients experience only fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. People usually recover within two to four weeks without needing to be hospitalized, but the disease occasionally is deadly.

People with more serious illness may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.

Monkeypox cases began emerging in Europe and the United States in May, according to the World Health Organization.