According to the Idaho Division of Public Health and Central District Health, as the monkeypox virus continues to spread across the nation, it looks like Idaho could have its first case infection. The two health organizations made the announcement today in a joint release. The Idaho resident could have acquired the infection while traveling to an area with a monkeypox outbreak.

The Idaho patient lives within the jurisdiction of Central District Health and is recovering. Local, state and healthcare officials are partnering with the Centers for Disease Control to ensure the patient receives the proper care. Other potential contacts have been notified and our taking precautions.

The monkeypox disease has been known to infect folks in several African countries. This May, a worldwide outbreak was reported, and as of this month, 6,000 cases have been reported outside of Africa. The United States has reported 560 cases of monkeypox disease. No American has died of monkeypox as of the time of this publication.  

“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.”

What to do if you think you're infected?

Dr. Christine Hahn, public health medical director and state epidemiologist. “If anyone suspects they might have monkeypox, particularly if they have recently had a new sexual partner, they should limit their contact with others and contact their healthcare provider as soon as possible--although please phone ahead before going in person.”

Monkeypox Prevention

  • Wash your hands, especially after contact with possibly infected people (or animals) and contact with materials like bedding that have touched any lesions.
  • Limit direct contact with anyone who has a new rash.
  • Stay home except for medical appointments if you have a new rash.
  • Isolate from household members and pets if you have a new rash.
  • Wear personal protective equipment if caring for someone with monkeypox.
  • Avoid contact with animals or animal products from central and west Africa. No animals in the United States are known to have been infected with the monkeypox virus in this outbreak.

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