Staff writer | 9 July 2022 | Big Country News Connection
BOISE – On Wednesday, July 6, 2022, the Idaho Division of Public Health and Central District Health announced the first probable case of monkeypox in an Idaho resident.
According to the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, the investigation is ongoing, however it appears this infection was acquired during travel to a country experiencing a monkeypox outbreak.
DHW states that the patient, who lives in the Central District Health area (Boise, McCall, Mountain Home), is recovering. State and local public health officials are working with the patient’s healthcare providers and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to ensure that the patient is treated and that any potential contacts are identified and notified.
Testing for initial identification was performed at the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories, and samples are being sent to CDC for confirmation of the monkeypox virus. Results from CDC are expected in the next few days.
Monkeypox usually causes a mild illness, and most people recover on their own. Antivirals are available through the federal government for patients who might have severe disease or develop complications. Individuals with monkeypox should isolate until their lesions have healed.
According to the DHW, monkeypox disease is caused by the monkeypox virus, which is usually found in several countries in Africa. An international outbreak was first reported in May 2022, with most of the cases likely from the virus spreading between people. As of July 5, over 6,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported outside of Africa, including 560 cases in the United States. None of the people identified with monkeypox in the United States have died.
“This is a virus that does not naturally occur in the United States,” said Victoria O’Dell, staff epidemiologist with Central District Health. “The cases we have seen in the U.S. and the one possible case in Idaho have been associated with international travel or importing animals from areas where the disease is more common.”