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'Probable' monkeypox cases discovered in Salt Lake County

Posted at 9:43 AM, May 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-23 18:42:16-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah — Utah health officials announced Monday that two probable cases of monkeypox have been found in Salt Lake County.

READ: What is monkeypox and what are the symptoms, treatment?

The cases are based on preliminary testing of two adults in the same household. Confirmation of the test results is expected Tuesday.

According to a release from the Salt Lake County Health Department, the two adults became symptomatic after traveling internationally earlier in the month. The residents had gone to the doctor Friday complaining on flu-like symptoms.

Both adults are expected to fully recover and are only experiencing mild illness as they isolate at home.

The department says it has "not identified any exposure risk to the public," the release said, adding exposure is only limited to those people who had direct, close contact with the infected individuals.

Monkeypox does not spread easily among humans and is usually found in Central and West Africa, though cases have recently been found in North America and Europe.

"...it's the first time monkeypox has spread outside of Africa; typically it's within West Africa, and now, across the globe, we're having cases that haven't traveled to Africa. That indicates that it's a new, sustained spread or transmission, human to human outside of Africa, and that's new," said Dr. Angela Dunn, executive director of the Salt Lake County Health Department.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion and swollen lymph nodes. Those infected develop a rash that turns into fluid-filled bumps, or pox, that eventually scab over and fall off.

While there is no proven treatment for monkeypox, the health department says most people recover with no treatment.