Two probable monkeypox cases reported in Salt Lake County

File photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah, May 23, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Two adults in the same Salt Lake County household are believed to have monkeypox, based on the results of preliminary tests.

The cases are being reviewed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and CDC results should be available Tuesday.

The two infected individuals became symptomatic after traveling internationally earlier this month to an area currently experiencing monkeypox cases, says a statement from the Salt Lake County Health Department. Both people are in isolation and do not present a risk to the public.

“They are experiencing mild illness and are expected to recover fully,” a SLCoHD statement says, adding that additional details will not be shared due to privacy regulations.

“Utah’s public health system has not identified any exposure risk to the public due to these probable cases. Exposure concern is limited to specifically identified people who had direct, close contact with the infected individuals during their infectious period,” the statement says.

“SLCoHD and the Utah Department of Health and Human Services are contacting those specifically identified close contacts; we expect to have reached all contacts by the end of the day today.”

Monkeypox is not known to spread easily among humans, and typically does not spread through casual contact. Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through direct contact with body fluids, including monkeypox lesions, the SLCoHD statement says.

Transmission might also occur through prolonged, close face-to-face contact. The time from someone becoming infected to showing symptoms for monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days. Infected people are not contagious before they show symptoms.

In humans, the symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. Infected people develop a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body, that turns into fluid-filled bumps (“pox”). These pox lesions eventually scab over and fall off. The illness typically lasts two to four weeks, the SLCoDH statement says.

Monkeypox. File photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox, though the limited evidence available indicates that smallpox treatments may be useful. Most people recover with no treatment.

Utahns travelling internationally should review the CDC’s current recommendations for their destination(s) regarding monkeypox and other communicable diseases. The most important precautions travelers can take to prevent monkeypox are frequent, thorough handwashing; avoiding contact with animals; and avoiding close contact with people who have symptoms of illness.

People with upcoming international travel should also consider making an appointment with a travel medicine clinic to ensure they are current on recommended immunizations for travel and are educated about potential health risks at their destination(s), the SLCoDH statement says.

People with planned international travel can schedule an appointment with the Salt Lake County Health Department Travel Clinic by calling 385-468-4111.

For more information about monkeypox, visit CDC.gov/monkeypox.

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