May 23, 2022
SLCoHD Announces Probable Monkeypox Cases in Two County Residents
Nicholas Rupp -
(SALT LAKE COUNTY)—The Salt Lake County Health Department (SLCoHD) announced today that two adults in the same SLCo household are considered probable monkeypox cases based on preliminary testing. Utah’s public health system expects confirmatory test results from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) tomorrow. UPDATE May 25: Both cases have been confirmed by the CDC as monkeypox.
The two infected individuals became symptomatic after traveling internationally earlier this month to an area currently experiencing monkeypox cases. Both individuals are in isolation and do not present a risk to the public. They are experiencing mild illness and are expected to recover fully. Due to medical privacy laws, SLCoHD is unable to share additional information about these individuals.
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. 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; transmission generally does not occur through casual contact. Human-to-human transmission occurs primarily through direct contact with body fluids, including monkeypox lesions. Transmission might also occur through prolonged, close face-to-face contact. The time from someone becoming infected to showing symptoms for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. Infected people are not contagious before they show symptoms.
Monkeypox is a rare illness usually found in Central and West Africa, though health officials have recently identified several cases in Europe and North America.
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 2−4 weeks.
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). 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 the CDC.gov/monkeypox.