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Southeast Idaho announces first case of Monkeypox

POCATELLO, Idaho (KIFI) - Southeastern Idaho Public Health (SIPH) is reporting the first case of Monkeypox virus infection in a southeast Idaho resident.

Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness that typically involves flu-like symptoms, swelling of the lymph nodes, and a rash that includes bumps that are initially filled with fluid before scabbing over. Illness could be confused with a sexually transmitted infection like syphilis or herpes, or with varicella zoster virus (chickenpox). Most infections last two to four weeks.

SIPH is working closely with the patient to identify and notify individuals who may have been in contact with them while they were infectious. Monkeypox is typically spread by skin-to-skin contact. The person is currently isolating at home. No further information will be shared about this case to protect the patient’s privacy.

Since May 2022, 24,572 monkeypox cases have been identified in the United States, with 12 cases identified in Idaho. One death has occurred in the U.S. related to this outbreak.

"That the virus has shown up in southeast Idaho is unwelcome news, but not a surprise. I am hopeful the individual recovers quickly,” SIPH Director Maggie Mann said.

Monkeypox is transmitted person to person through direct skin-to-skin contact, having contact with an infectious rash, through body fluids or through respiratory secretions. Such contact may occur during prolonged, face-to-face contact or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex. Contact with infected bed lines, towels, etc. may also cause spread of the virus.

People can take basic steps to prevent the spread of monkeypox. If you have an unexplained rash, sores or other symptoms, see your health care provider — if you don’t have a provider or health insurance, visit a public health clinic near you. Keep the rash covered and avoid skin to skin contact with others until you have been checked out. Standard household cleaners and detergents are effective at cleaning environmental surfaces and linens. More information about monkeypox can be found at www.siphidaho.org.

Article Topic Follows: Health
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