BOISE (Idaho Capital Sun) — A person in Canyon County appears to have caught the monkeypox virus, in what is believed to be the first identified case of local transmission in Idaho.
The Southwest District Health Department of Public Health reported the case Friday in a news release.
“The investigation is ongoing. Local and state public health officials are working with the patient’s health care providers to ensure the patient is treated and any potential close contacts are identified and informed of the risk of exposure,” the department said.
A department spokesperson told the Idaho Capital Sun, “Currently, no trips have been identified at this stage of the investigation.”
The ministry also reminded the public that most people recover at home after mild illness. Antiviral drugs are available, but public health officials encourage vaccination of people who have been exposed to monkeypox. “People with monkeypox should self-isolate until their lesions have completely healed with new skin where the lesions were,” he said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported more than 4,900 cases of the monkeypox virus in the United States on Friday. Three of those cases were in Idaho.
State and local health authorities announced the first probable case of monkeypox in Idaho on July 6, in a person living in the Central District Health Region. The patient is believed to have caught monkeypox while traveling in another country. At the time, there were over 560 known cases of monkeypox in the United States.
There are many differences between the monkeypox virus and the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Still, observers have noted some parallels between the early outbreaks of the two infectious diseases. For example, testing for monkeypox has been limited and it is unknown how many cases are going undetected, allowing for more transmission. However, the smallpox vaccine is effective against monkeypox, so immunizations do not need to be developed from scratch.
Members of Congress have been slow to respond to the growing monkeypox epidemic, the United States Newsroom reported Thursday.
“Public health officials in the Biden administration have held multiple briefings, expanded testing capacity to domestic commercial labs, distributed more than 200,000 vaccine doses, and begun ordering millions more for the national stockpile. “, according to reports from the States Newsroom.
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