SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Aug. 4, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Forty-three confirmed or probable cases of monkeypox have been reported in Utah since May, including 34 in Salt Lake County, state health officials said.
Four monkeypox cases have been reported in Utah County, three in Weber/Morgan counties and two in Davis County, according to a news release Thursday from the Utah Department of Health and Human Services.
Earlier Thursday, the White House declared the outbreak of monkeypox a national public health emergency to raise awareness about the virus and accelerate efforts to combat it.
State and county health officials have been working to slow transmission of monkeypox in high-risk communities by identifying infections early, limiting exposures and vaccinating those most at risk, the release states.
Health officials say the infection is circulating primarily among men who have sex with men, though it can be spread to anyone with skin-to-skin contact.
The infection appears as a rash that can look like pimples or blisters, and it can appear on any part of the body, state health officials said.
“The best way to prevent infection is to have people with the infection avoid transmitting it to others,” the release states. “This means not coming into contact with other people while the rash is present.”
State health officials encourage anyone who notices an unusual rash to avoid exposing others and seek testing from a medical provider.
Monkeypox can be painful, state health officials said, though most people recover from it without needing any treatment.
The vaccine supply for monkeypox in Utah is “extremely limited,” state health officials said. As vaccines become available, they will be prioritized for those most at risk, according to the health department.
State health officials are tracking the virus, collecting data from local health departments and coordinating distribution of vaccines, the release states.