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Monkeypox

Updated June 29, 2022

Monkeypox in SLCo

  • Salt Lake County Health Department has identified four confirmed county residents with monkeypox since May 2022.
  • All four infections were acquired via international travel; we have not identified any local transmission.
  • Three of the cases have fully recovered.
  • One is still an “active” case; the individual remains in isolation and does not present a risk to the public.
  • We have notified close contacts of all four cases; those exposed individuals will monitor themselves for symptoms for 21 days.
  • To date, we have not identified any additional infections due to these four cases; none of the exposed individuals have become symptomatic.

Prevention

  • Monkeypox can be transmitted person-to-person through:
    • direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
    • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
    • touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • Because monkeypox can be spread via skin-to-skin contact with an infected person, it is important to avoid close, intimate, or sexual contact with anyone who has flu-like symptoms or a rash.
  • Condoms will not prevent the spread of monkeypox.
  • People are not contagious until they have symptoms.
  • Monkeypox vaccine is currently not available to the general public.
    In coming weeks, we expect to receive limited doses of the vaccine from the federal government.
    We are working with the State of Utah and the CDC to determine who will be eligible to receive these limited doses, but we expect it to be only people at high risk of contracting monkeypox (such as men who have sex with men and have multiple partners) or at high risk of serious illness from a monkeypox infection (such as people who are immunocompromised).
    We will share here more details about local monkeypox vaccine distribution when they are available.

Symptoms

  • Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin 7-14 days after exposure but can range from 5-21 days.
  • The initial symptoms of monkeypox are usually:
    • fever
    • chills
    • body/muscle/headaches
    • swollen lymph nodes
    • fatigue
  • 1 to 3 days after fever, a rash appears, sometimes on or near the genitals or anus, but sometimes in other areas like the hands, feet, chest or face.
    • Sores/rash may be inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus.
    • The rash will go through several stages. The sores often begin as small, red bumps, which become fluid-filled pustules that eventually scab over and fall off.
    • Some people experience a rash or sores first, followed by other symptoms and some only experience a rash or sores without other symptoms.
  • Symptoms usually lasts 2-4 weeks. People with symptoms should stay isolated the entire time they have symptoms.
  • The illness is over when all pustules have scabbed over and fallen off, and new skin is present.
  • People are contagious the entire time they have symptoms.
  • Most people recover fully with no treatment. People with severe illness or who are immunocompromised may receive antiviral medication with the approval of SLCoHD and the CDC.

FAQ

Download our monkeypox fact sheet (English/Español)
View the CDC's monkeypox fact sheet (English)

  • What is monkeypox?
    Monkeypox is a disease caused by a virus first identified in animals. It occurs primarily in tropical rainforest areas of Central and West Africa and is occasionally exported to other regions. Currently, the virus is circulating in western Europe, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.
  • What are the signs and symptoms of monkeypox?
    Monkeypox usually begins with fever (100.4° F or greater), headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.

    Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, a rash develops. The rash often begins on the face or in the mouth, then spreads to the arms, legs, hands, and feet.

    The rash, or lesion, starts as hard, red bumps that, over time, become filled with fluid. They eventually scab over and fall off.

    Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
  • How is monkeypox spread?
    Monkeypox can be transmitted person-to-person through:
    • direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
    • respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
    • touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids

  • How long after exposure do symptoms appear?
    Symptoms usually appear 7 to 14 days after exposure but can range from 5 to 21 days. People with monkeypox are NOT contagious before they have symptoms.
  • How long is an infected person contagious?
    A person with monkeypox is contagious as long as they have symptoms, including any lesions. They stop being contagious when all pox lesions scab over and fall off, and there is new skin underneath.
  • How long does monkeypox last?
    The illness typically lasts for 2 to 4 weeks. People with monkeypox can spread the virus the whole time they have symptoms. Once all the lesions have healed and scabs have fallen off, the person is no longer contagious.
  • How is monkeypox diagnosed?
    A health care provider will swab any lesions for testing, and a laboratory will analyze the samples for the monkeypox virus.

  • How is monkeypox treated?
    Most people recover fully with no treatment. People with severe illness or who are immunocompromised may receive antiviral medication with the approval of SLCoHD and the CDC.

  • How can I protect myself from monkeypox?
    • Avoid intimate, sexual, or skin-to-skin contact with anyone who has a rash.
    • Avoid close, prolonged contact with anyone with flu-like symptoms.
    • People ill with flu-like symptoms should isolate in a room or separate area from other family members, if possible.
    • Seek medical care if you develop a new, unexplained skin rash; if possible, call ahead before going to a healthcare facility.
  • Where can I get the monkeypox vaccine?
    Monkeypox vaccine is currently not available to the general public.
    In coming weeks, we expect to receive limited doses of the vaccine from the federal government. We are working with the State of Utah and the CDC to determine who will be eligible to receive these limited doses, but we expect it to be only people at high risk of contracting monkeypox (such as men who have sex with men and have multiple partners) or at high risk of serious illness from a monkeypox infection (such as the immunocompromised). We will share on our website more details about local monkeypox vaccine distribution when they are available.

  • What if I think I’ve been exposed to monkeypox?
    Monitor yourself for symptoms, including taking your temperature to determine if you have a fever, for 21 days.
    If you develop flu-like symptoms and/or skin rash, seek medical care immediately; if possible, call ahead before going to a healthcare facility.

  • What do I do if someone in my household has been diagnosed with monkeypox?
    People with lesions that cannot be easily covered should isolate in a room or separate area from other family members and pets, if possible.

    People with monkeypox should not leave home except as required for follow-up medical care.

    Cover skin lesions (long sleeves, pants), if possible. The person with monkeypox should wear a surgical mask. If this is not feasible, others in the home should consider wearing a mask.

    People in the home of someone who has monkeypox should frequently and thoroughly wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

    Avoid contact with any materials, such as bedding, towels, or clothing, that has been in contact with someone who has monkeypox. Soiled laundry should be washed often in warm water with standard laundry detergent.

    Do not share dishes and other utensils. Soiled dishes should be washed in a dishwasher or by hand with soap and warm water.

    Clean and disinfect surfaces with standard household products in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

  • Where can I get more information?
    U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Salt Lake County Health Department
General Information  
Phone: (385) 468-4100