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  • Pima County, ADHS announce Arizona’s first monkeypox case beyond Phoenix area

    Jul 12, 2022 | Read More News
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    Monkeypox graphicThe Pima County Health Department and Arizona Department of Health Services have identified the state’s first probable monkeypox case beyond the Phoenix area.

    To date, all other cases in the state have been in Maricopa County.

    The case still needs to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Health Department believes risk is low to the general population and asks the community to keep the following in mind:
    • Early symptoms of infection with monkeypox are flu-like, including fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, and swollen lymph nodes.
    • A rash or sores can also appear – either before, during, or after flu-like symptoms.
    • Monkeypox can be treated with antiviral medicines. It’s highly controllable through simple precautions, including consulting a health care provider if displaying symptoms such as a rash, fever, or swollen lymph nodes.
    On May 24, 2022, the Pima County Health Department sent an alert to medical providers in Pima County advising them to consider monkeypox in patients who present with rashes or flu-like symptoms, even though the infection is not endemic to Pima County. Most monkeypox infections get better after two to four weeks, but, rarely, cases can be fatal. No recorded deaths from monkeypox have occurred in the United States.

    Monkeypox virus can spread by:
    • Direct, skin-to-skin contact with someone else’s rash, sores, or scabs
    • Living with an infected person and sharing their bed, towels, or unwashed clothing 
    • Respiratory droplets
    • Sexual contact
    “The most common way the virus is transmitted is skin to skin,” said Pima County Health Department Director Dr. Theresa Cullen. “The odds of someone getting monkeypox without having direct contact with an individual who has monkeypox are minuscule, and I do not want people to be worried about that. The County has a robust response available, and we’re working closely with the state and the CDC.”

    Testing at the Arizona State Public Health Laboratory returned a presumptive positive result for the Pima County case; that result still needs to be confirmed by the CDC. The patient is a man under age 40 who is currently in isolation.

    To help prevent the spread of monkeypox and other viruses, wash your hands after touching someone else and stay home if you feel ill. Always avoid touching a rash or skin lesions on someone else.

    The Health Department has a new page with information about monkeypox, which will be updated regularly. Visit pima.gov/monkeypox.