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Posted on: August 23, 2022

First Monkeypox Cases Identified in Coconino County

First Cases of Monkeypox Identified in Coconino County

Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) announced the first confirmed cases of monkeypox in Coconino County. The two cases were tested in separate healthcare facilities and are unrelated.

First Monkeypox Cases Identified in Coconino County 

 

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS) announced the first confirmed cases of monkeypox in Coconino County. The two cases were tested in separate healthcare facilities and are unrelated. The individuals are recovering while following isolation guidance. As of August 22, 2022, 258 monkeypox cases have been reported in Arizona and more than 15,000 cases have been identified in the United States.

Monkeypox symptoms can be similar to the flu with a rash and usually resolve within 2 - 4 weeks. The illness can produce a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, the inside of the mouth, hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus. Infection typically starts with a fever and can be accompanied by chills, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, and fatigue. 

"The identification of monkeypox cases in Coconino County is not a cause for alarm. It is a time for us to look back at what we learned in the last few years and ensure we are following prevention recommendations such as washing our hands frequently, getting tested if we have symptoms, staying home when sick, and seeking medical care when needed," CCHHS Director Kim Musselman said. Monkeypox is most commonly spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with someone who is infected with monkeypox. Prevention measures for monkeypox include:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a new rash. 
  • Wash hands often with soap and water, or use an alcohol-based sanitizer, especially before eating or touching the face, and after using the restroom and after touching other people.
  • People should stay home if they feel sick with symptoms of monkeypox or other illnesses.

Anyone with symptoms, particularly a rash consistent with monkeypox, or those who have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox, should contact their healthcare provider for guidance and testing information or call the CCHHS Information Line at (928) 679-7300. Visit coconino.az.gov/monkeypox for photos of the monkeypox rash for reference. Individuals with symptoms should also avoid close contact, including sexual or intimate contact, until evaluated by a healthcare provider. 

CCHHS is working with state and federal partners to distribute monkeypox vaccine. Currently, limited vaccine doses are available and are being prioritized for people who are at higher risk of getting monkeypox. 

Individuals who are at higher risk of getting monkeypox include:

  • People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with monkeypox
  • People who are aware that one of their sexual partners in the past 2 weeks has been diagnosed with monkeypox
  • People who have had multiple sexual partners in the past 2 weeks  

Individuals at higher risk, those who believe they have a possible exposure to monkeypox, and those interested in receiving the monkeypox vaccine as it becomes available are asked to complete the CCHHS Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Survey available in English and Spanish at coconino.az.gov/monkeypox. Anyone unable to fill out the form can call (928) 679-7300 for assistance. Responses will remain confidential and are stored in a secure environment. Those completing the survey will be contacted with more information on the vaccine.

Healthcare providers are encouraged to be on alert for patients experiencing rashes and other symptoms that could indicate monkeypox. CCHHS is reaching out to healthcare providers to provide resources and current testing guidance.

For more information on prevention, vaccination, and treatment, please visit www.coconino.az.gov/monkeypox.  

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