SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Salt Lake County officials say the two “probable cases” of monkeypox discovered on Monday have been officially confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as monkeypox.
At this time, the infected individuals remain in isolation and do not present a risk to the public.
Officials say both individuals are expected to make a full recovery.
ORIGINAL STORY: Two ‘probable’ cases of monkeypox found in Salt Lake County
MONDAY 5/23/22 9:45 a.m.
SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah (ABC4) – Health officials are investigating two cases of “probable monkeypox” discovered in Salt Lake County on Monday.
The Salt Lake County Health Departmnt (SLCoHD) says the two adults who are being investigated live together in the same household. The individuals became infected after traveling internationally to an area currently experiencing monkeypox outbreaks earlier this month.
Officials say the two adults are currently in isolation and “do not present a risk to the public.”
Health officials are awaiting test results from U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) by tomorrow to confirm the cases. So far, the two adults are experiencing mild illness and are expected to fully recover.
“Monkeypox is not known to spread easily among humans; transmission generally does not occur through casual contact,” says SLCoHD. “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.”
What is Monkeypox?
Monkeypox, clinically known as orthopox, is a disease related to smallpox—or variola—though monkeypox is typically less severe.
It was first discovered in 1958 in monkeys who were being kept for research, hence the colloquial name of the disease.
The virus was first found in humans in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in a child located in a rural, rainforest region where smallpox had since been eradicated, according to the World Health Organization.
The disease is typically only found in west and central African nations or in people who have frequently traveled to those regions.
“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,” says SLCoHD.
Symptoms of Monkeypox
Monkeypox typically presents 7-14 days after exposure and symptoms include fever, headache, muscle ache, backaches, chills, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes—which is the main distinguishing symptomatic factor between smallpox and monkeypox. Smallpox does not typically cause swollen lymph nodes.
One to three days after the onset of fever, patients develop a rash that typically begins on the face and then spreads to other areas of the body. The lesions then progress through different stages before falling off.
Monkeypox usually lasts two to four weeks, according to the CDC. The disease can be fatal.
“Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox, though the limited evidence available indicates that smallpox treatments may be useful,” says SLCoHD. “Most people recover with no treatment.”
Utahns traveling internationally should review any health recommendations for their destination regarding monkeypox or other diseases. SLCoHD recommends always practicing thorough handwashing, avoiding animal contact or contact with those who may exhibit symptoms of illness.
Making an appointment with a health care provider to ensure all immunizations are up-to-date for travel is recommended as well.
People with planned international travel can schedule an appointment with the Salt Lake County Health Department Travel Clinic by calling (385) 468-4111.