Southwest District Health: First case of mpox in Canyon County

CALDWELL, Idaho — Mpox, formerly Monkeypox, was first reported in Canyon County, according to Southwest District Health (SWDH).

There is a small outbreak in Ada County, as previously reported by KTVB. The Canyon County case is currently under investigation and epidemiologists have not yet been able to determine the source of exposure. The case was detected in mid-November and is the first case in SWDH jurisdiction.

According to the SWDH, mpox can range from mild to severe, and most people with mild mpox can recover on their own. Antiviral medications are available for patients who may have serious illness or other conditions that increase their risk of serious illness.

If you are exposed to mpox, your close contacts should be monitored for symptoms for 21 days after their last exposure. If symptoms develop, individuals should self-isolate and call SWDH for further advice. People who do not develop symptoms can continue their usual daily activities.

SWDH recommends vaccination for people who have been or may be exposed to mpox. SWDH is able to provide the JYNNEOS vaccine to those seeking vaccination or who have recently been exposed. You can call Southwest District Health at 208-455-5300 to make an appointment.

According to the press release, here is some information provided by SWDH regarding mpox:

How is mpox spread?

Mpox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with rash, scabs, or bodily fluids of a person with mpox. SWDH believes this is currently the most common way mpox spreads in the United States.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding or towels) and surfaces that have been used by a person with mpox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions.

What are the symptoms of mpox?

Symptoms* of concern include:

  • Fever ≥100.4°F (38°C)
  • Chills
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • New rash – The rash may look like pimples or blisters.

*Fever and rash occur in almost everyone infected with the mpox virus.

How to prevent mpox?

Follow the following steps to prevent mpox:

  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact with people with a mpox-like rash.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with mpox.
  • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle, or have sex with someone who has mpox.
  • Do not share utensils or cups with someone who has mpox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with mpox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

What to do if you have symptoms of mpox?

SWDH asks anyone experiencing an unexplained rash with or without fever to contact their doctor and avoid contact with other people. If possible, call before going to a healthcare facility. If you are unable to call ahead, let a staff member know upon arrival that you are concerned about mpox, the release said.

Inform your doctor if, in the month before symptoms appear:

  • You have had contact with someone who may have had mpox.
  • You were in an area where mpox has been reported, which currently includes Europe, North America, South America and Australia. Other regions where mpox is more commonly found are the Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Central African Republic, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Gabon, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Sudan.

According to SWDH, anyone experiencing these symptoms, or who may have been exposed to mpox, is encouraged to follow the advice of SWDH and their healthcare provider to help prevent the spread of mpox in our community.

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