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  • Monkeypox

    Updated August 10, 2022

    What is Monkeypox?

    Probable/confirmed monkeypox cases in Pima County: 10

    Data will be updated Monday through Friday in the mornings, with the data as of the day before. (Updated August 10)

    (ADHS: Arizona infectious disease numbers, updated weekly)
    • Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious illness caused by the monkeypox virus. The CDC is tracking the current outbreak in the United States.
    • Monkeypox is similar to smallpox but is milder. It causes a rash that looks like pimples or blisters and can last 2-4 weeks. Anyone can get monkeypox.
    • The type of monkeypox seen in this outbreak is rarely fatal. However, some groups are likely at higher risk of severe illness, including children under age 8, people who have weakened immune systems or are pregnant, and people with history of atopic dermatitis or eczema.

    What are the symptoms?

    Monkeypox resources

    • A rash develops that can be painful and looks like pimples or blisters. It may appear on the face, in the mouth, or on the hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus.
    • Some people may get flu-like symptoms (such as fever, chills, headache, backache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and exhaustion) before the rash, but some people only get the rash.
    • The rash goes through different stages before healing completely.
    The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks. People with weakened immune systems may be more likely to get severely ill.

    People seeking testing for monkeypox must consult with their healthcare provider first; providers can submit specimens to commercial labs for testing.

    What if I have symptoms?

    Images of minkeypox rash
    • Contact your health care provider.
    • Isolate at home for the duration of the illness if possible, except to see a healthcare provider.
    • Keep your rash/sores covered with clothing (long sleeves or pants) or bandages.
    • Wear a mask if you have to be around others.
    • Avoid sex or intimate contact.
    • Don't share clothing, bedding, towels, dishes or utensils.
    • Hand washing is important, as is cleaning and disinfection of surfaces that you may have touched.
    The CDC offers regularly updated information for healthcare providers and the public. The CDC also has monkeypox information for travelers.

    Photo credit: NHS England High Consequence Infectious Diseases Network

    How does the virus spread?

    The virus can spread by:
    • Direct, skin-to-skin contact with someone's rash, sores, or scabs.
    • Contact with items that touched an infected person’s rash, such as bedding, towels, or unwashed clothing.
    • Respiratory secretions from prolonged, face-to-face contact or through close intimate contact like kissing, cuddling, massage, or oral, anal or vaginal sex.
    • Pregnant individuals can spread the virus to the fetus, or through close contact after birth.
    Having multiple sex partners may increase your chances for exposure to monkeypox.

    Monkeypox is NOT spread through:
    • Casual conversations
    • Walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store
    • Briefly touching items like doorknobs
    See more isolation and prevention practices to keep from spreading monkeypox.

    The virus is contagious and can spread from the time symptoms first start until the rash has fully healed. We don’t yet know if monkeypox can be spread through semen or through vaginal fluids. See steps you can take to prevent getting the virus, and how to lower your risk at social gatherings or during sex.

    Wednesday, August 10: The monkeypox vaccine is limited at this time. Click the link to find current eligibility requirements. The FDA, in an emergency use authorization, now allows for the use of the vaccine in individuals younger than 18 years old determined to be at high risk of monkeypox infection.

     Link/share our site by using pima.gov/monkeypox

    5 Things Sexually Active People Need to Know About Monkeypox (July 18)

    5 Things to Know about Monkeypox (June 2)

    Cat and dog on couch in a homeMonkeypox is a zoonotic virus, meaning it can spread between animals and people.

    Right now, the CDC does not believe the virus poses a high risk to pets, but they do recommend that people who have monkeypox avoid close contact with animals, including pets in the home, and domestic animals, and wildlife.

    If you have monkeypox, you should avoid petting, cuddling, hugging, kissing, licking, sharing sleeping areas, and sharing food with your pet. If possible, have someone else take care of your pet until you recover.

    See more suggestions from the CDC if you have pets in your home. There is information for veterinarians, and also specifically for public health veterinarians and animal health officials.

    Questions about monkeypox?

    Healthcare providers with questions about monkeypox may contact our Epidemiology Division at any time.  Click/Tap to call 520-724-7797.

    Clinical recognition guidance for monkeypox, including photos, can be found on this CDC page.

    Clinicians' resources

    PCHD: Monkeypox suspect case checklist for providers
    PCHD: HAN advisory from July 15, 2022
    CDC: Clinician FAQs
    CDC: Information for healthcare professionals
    CDC: Monkeypox info page
    CDC: HAN advisory from May 20, 2022
    CDC: Treatment Information for Healthcare Professionals
    CDC: Situation summary
    CDC: Prevention and control in healthcare settings
    CDC: Information on obtaining and using TPOXX
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