LOCAL NEWS

Two suspected monkeypox cases in SL County confirmed by CDC

May 25, 2022, 4:01 PM | Updated: Jun 13, 2022, 10:59 am
This 2003 electron microscope image made available by the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio...
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. Monkeypox, a disease that rarely appears outside Africa, has been identified by European and American health authorities in recent days. (Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC)
(Cynthia S. Goldsmith, Russell Regner/CDC)

SALT LAKE CITY — The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has confirmed two cases of suspected monkeypox cases in Salt Lake County.

Two two individuals, who traveled internationally, remain in isolation and are not considered a threat to the public. Both of the individuals are expected to recover fully. Privacy laws protect the identity of the two infected individuals.

The virus, a close relative of smallpox, is not known to spread easily among humans and transmission generally does not occur through casual contact.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. KSLTV’s earlier story follows below

SALT LAKE CITY — According to the Salt Lake County Health Department, two Salt Lake County adults from the same household are considered probable monkeypox cases based on preliminary testing.

Health officials said the two infected individuals became symptomatic after they traveled internationally to an area experiencing monkeypox cases earlier this month.

The state expects to receive confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday.

“Utah’s public health system has not identified any exposure risk to the public due to these probable cases,” officials said. “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 (Monday).”

The two individuals were experiencing mild illness and were in isolation. Public health officials say they are unable to share additional information about the individuals due to medical privacy laws, but both are expected to fully recover.

“What’s unique about the outbreak is that it’s the first time monkeypox has spread outside of Africa,” Dunn said.

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.

The virus, a close relative of smallpox, is not known to spread easily among humans and transmission generally does not occur through casual contact.

Health officials say 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 of monkeypox is usually seven to 14 days but can range from five to 21 days. Infected people are not contagious before they show symptoms.

“The general public has no reason to worry,” Dunn said. “It’s just those who have traveled or have come into contact with people with rashes that should be on the lookout for symptoms. Symptoms are fairly obvious given the rash and you’re not infectious prior to symptoms so it’s easier to contain than say COVID.”

“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,” health officials said.

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.

According to the Associated Press, a leading adviser to the World Health Organization described the unprecedented outbreak of monkeypox in developed countries as “a random event” that might be explained by sexual behavior at two recent raves in Europe.

Health officials say most of the known cases in Europe have been among men who have sex with men, but scientists say it will be difficult to disentangle whether the spread is being driven by sex itself or merely close contact. Anyone can be infected through close contact with a sick person — or their clothing or bedsheets.

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Two suspected monkeypox cases in SL County confirmed by CDC