Monkeypox


Monkeypox is a disease caused by the monkeypox virus. Historically, monkeypox caused sporadic localized outbreaks, but it is currently circulating throughout the world. The most common symptom of this infection is a rash that can be very severe. Most people in the current outbreak have not needed medical treatment, however, severe infection is possible. The infection is mostly spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. This outbreak is currently limited to certain populations with close contact. Most people are not at risk of infection.

CDC Fact Sheet: Monkeypox Facts for People Who are Sexually Active
Salt Lake County Health Department: Monkeypox Fact Sheet

Since May 2022, 71 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox have been reported in Utah.

  • Geography
    • Davis County: 5
    • Salt Lake County: 51
    • Summit County: 1
    • Utah County: 9
    • Weber/Morgan: 5

Total number of people who have received a vaccine: 2,352

The data above are the most up-to-date.
Last updated: 8/12/22 at 4:00 p.m. MDT. Next update scheduled for 8/15/22 at 4:00 p.m. MDT.

Monkeypox vaccine is not currently available to the general public. Vaccination is being given to those people at highest risk of exposure including:

  • Individuals who have had close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox
  • Men who have sex with men who have had multiple partners in recent weeks, particularly in group settings

If you have had close contact with someone who has monkeypox, contact your local health department to discuss your qualifications for a vaccine:

  • Bear River Health Department
    • 435-792-6427

       

  • Central Utah Public Health Department
    • 435-896-5451

       

  • Davis County Health Department
    • 801-525-5200

       

  • Salt Lake County Health Department
    • 385-468-SHOT (7468)

       

  • San Juan Public Health Department
    • 435-587-3838

       

  • Southeast Utah Health Department
    • 435-636-1166

       

  • Southwest Utah Public Health Department
    • 435-668-0342, or
    • 435-359-8407

       

  • Summit County Health Department
    • 435-333-1500

       

  • Tooele County Health Department
    • 435-277-2310, or
    • 435-277-2311

       

  • TriCounty Health Department
    • 435-247-1197

       

  • Utah County Health Department
    • 801-851-2961

       

  • Wasatch County
    • 435-657-3232

       

  • Weber-Morgan Health Department
    • 801-399-7252

At this time, vaccine is extremely limited and is only being provided to those people at highest risk. Continue to visit this page for the most up-to-date information.

For more information on the monkeypox vaccine, visit the CDC website.

Symptoms

  • The most common symptom of monkeypox is a new rash. People can also get a fever, joint pain, swollen lymph nodes, and a headache. Read about the signs and symptoms of monkeypox and see pictures of the rash on the CDC website.
  • If you have symptoms of monkeypox, contact your healthcare provider or visit a clinic near you.

How it spreads

  • Skin-to-skin contact is the most common way monkeypox is spread. Condoms will not prevent the spread of monkeypox. Monkeypox is not spread through casual encounters that don’t involve physical touch, such as walking past someone who has monkeypox or having a casual conversation with someone who has monkeypox. Read more about how monkeypox spreads on the CDC website.

Prevention

  • Avoid close contact with anyone who is known to have monkeypox or with people who have new, unexplained rashes. Read about steps you can take to protect yourself and others from monkeypox on the CDC website.
  • It is best to stay home, except to get medical care, until a healthcare provider says all sores have fully healed and you are no longer able to spread monkeypox to others. This can take 2-4 weeks. During this time:
    • Separate yourself and personal items from other people in your home.
      • Wear a well-fitting mask if you need to be in close contact with others in your home.
    • Do not share items that you have worn or touched. Wash or disinfect items that have been worn or touched and any surfaces that may have touched your rash.
    • Avoid close physical contact, including sexual and/or close intimate contact, with other people.
    • Avoid sharing utensils or cups. Items should be cleaned and disinfected before others use them.
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after direct contact with the rash.
    • Avoid contact with animals, including pets.

       

  • If you are not able to stay home until your sores are fully healed, you may leave your home if you no longer have a fever, sore throat, or congestion (stuffy nose). If you do leave your home before your sores have healed, you should:
    • Cover all parts of the rash with clothing, gloves, and/or bandages.
    • Avoid crowds or congregate settings. 
    • Wear a well-fitting mask when interacting with others until the rash and all other symptoms have gone away. 
      • Masks should fit closely on the face without any gaps along the edges or around the nose and be comfortable when worn properly over the nose and mouth.
  • If you had close, intimate, or physical contact with anyone after your symptoms started, let them know about your diagnosis. Tell them to watch for symptoms like a fever of more than 100.4*F, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and/or a new skin rash for 21 days after the last time they had skin-to-skin or close, intimate contact with you.

     

  • Provide the names and contact information of your close contacts to your local health department to ensure your contacts can receive the appropriate care, if necessary.

For more information on isolation and infection control at home, visit the CDC website.

  • Watch for symptoms such as a fever over 100.4°F, chills, swollen lymph nodes, and/or a new skin rash until it has been 21 days since the last time you had skin-to-skin or close, intimate contact with the person who has monkeypox.

     

  • You can continue with your normal daily activities if you do not have symptoms. However, you should not donate blood, cells (plasma), tissue, breast milk, semen, or organs during the 21 days while you watch for symptoms.

     

  • If you begin having symptoms, immediately contact your healthcare provider or visit a public health clinic near you.

     

  • Anyone who has had close physical contact with someone who has monkeypox can get a post-exposure vaccine to prevent illness. The sooner you can get the vaccine after exposure, the better. Call your local health department to schedule a vaccine:

     

    • Bear River Health Department
      • 435-792-6427

         

    • Central Utah Public Health Department
      • 435-896-5451

         

    • Davis County Health Department
      • 801-525-5200

         

    • Salt Lake County Health Department
      • 385-468-SHOT (7468)

         

    • San Juan Public Health Department
      • 435-587-3838

         

    • Southeast Utah Health Department
      • 435-636-1166

         

    • Southwest Utah Public Health Department 
      • 435-668-0342, or
      • 435-359-8407

         

    • Summit County Health Department
      • 435-333-1500

         

    • Tooele County Health Department
      • 435-277-2310, or
      • 435-277-2311

         

    • TriCounty Health Department 
      • 435-247-1197

         

    • Utah County Health Department
      • 801-851-2961

         

    • Wasatch County 
      • 435-657-3232

         

    • Weber-Morgan Health Department
      • 801-399-7252

Monkeypox testing is now available at multiple clinical labs. Clinicians should contact their testing laboratory to understand what testing options are available. At this time, ARUP, LabCorp, Quest, Aegis, Mayo Clinic, and Sonic are providing this testing. If your clinic is not able to test for monkeypox through a commercial laboratory, UPHL is able to perform a limited number of tests.

For any patient you suspect may have monkeypox, we encourage you to:

1) Wear gloves, gown, eye protection and respiratory mask (N95 or PAPR) while you interact with the patient.

2) Obtain information from the patient regarding:

  • a) Any contact with individuals known to have monkeypox
  • b) Recent travel
    • i) Participation in raves, sex parties, or bathhouses
  • c) Any recent sexual contact. Specifically inquire about:
    • i) Men who have sex with men (MSM)
    • ii) Females of MSM partners
    • iii) Sexual contact during travel
    • iv) Anonymous sex through dating and hookup apps
  • d) Symptom onset dates and progression

3) Document symptom characteristics:

  • a) Fever, muscle aches, lymphadenopathy
  • b) Rash
    • i) Distribution
    • ii) Characteristics—(umbilication, fluid filled, etc.)
    • iii) With patient permission, take photos of the rash to review with public health. Try to avoid areas that would identify the person unless needed.

4) If you suspect monkeypox, it is best to collect samples at the time of visit rather than asking the patient to return later.

Specimen collection instructions

  • a) Identify the “juiciest” looking lesion.
  • b) Vigorously swab or brush the lesion with two separate sterile dry polyester or Dacron swabs. One swab will be tested locally and the other swab will be sent to the CDC for confirmation testing. It is not necessary to unroof the lesion. These lesions can be tender or painful, please keep this in mind when swabbing.
  • c) Only one set of swabs (used to test the same lesions) is necessary; however if there are lesions on different locations on the body or lesions in different stages it is appropriate to send additional sets of swabs. Be sure to label what swabs are duplicates of each other.
  • d) Place each swab in a dry sterile tube and seal (one tube for each swab). DO NOT ADD ANY TRANSPORT MEDIA or BUFFER SOLUTION.
  • e) Store tube with swab in a refrigerator or -20 degree freezer. Collected specimens are stable for 7 days refrigerated and 60 days frozen. They should be transported to the Utah Public Health Laboratory (UPHL) refrigerated or frozen within the stability timeframe mentioned above.
  • f) Submit specimens to UPHL with individual completed UPHL Infectious Disease test Request Forms. Mark “other” and write in ‘MonkeyPox’.

5) Call your local health department to report the suspect case and get approval for testing at UPHL. Weekend and after-hour reports can be directed to the 24-hour phone disease reporting line (1-888-EPI-UTAH).

  • a) If applicable, the local health department and DHHS will begin contact tracing and assessing contacts for post-exposure prophylactic (PEP) treatments, such as a vaccine. Severely ill cases of MPX may be considered for antiviral medication.

6) ANY patient with high suspicion for monkeypox should be told to isolate at home away from other people and animals. They should isolate until monkeypox is ruled out or until new skin forms over all the lesions (typically around 2 to 4 weeks).

7) For patients who report engaging in unprotected sex, HIV and STD testing (e.g., syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia) are highly encouraged in the areas of exposure. Extragenital testing (oral, anal) can be conducted in exposed sites via a swab. If additional HIV or STD testing is being done, the clinician should inform the testing laboratory that the patient is being evaluated for monkeypox so the laboratory staff can handle the samples safely.

8) People who handle any linens used by the suspect patient should use PPE to protect themselves from exposure.

9) Additional general information can be found on the CDC website: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/clinicians/index.html

A PDF of these instructions can be viewed here.