More Monkeypox Cases Suspected in Fourth US State: Officials

Authorities in Utah on Monday said they are investigating two possible monkeypox cases—the fourth U.S. state to probe potential instances of the virus in recent days.

The Salt Lake County Health Department said two adults in a household located in the country are suspected to have monkeypox based on preliminary testing, according to a news release.

The two individuals traveled to an area in Europe that is “currently experiencing monkeypox cases” in recent days and became symptomatic of the rare virus afterward, said officials.

“Both individuals are in isolation and do not present a risk to the public,” health authorities said in the release. “They are experiencing mild illness and are expected to recover fully.”

Later on Monday, authorities with the World Health Organization (WHO) said that two events in Europe are likely responsible for the spread of the virus, which is generally relegated to several African nations. They suggested that sexual contact is how the monkeypox outbreak is spreading—namely through homosexual men.

“We’ve seen a few cases in Europe over the last five years, just in travelers, but this is the first time we’re seeing cases across many countries at the same time in people who have not traveled to the endemic regions in Africa,” Dr. Rosamund Lewis, who runs WHO’s smallpox research, said Monday.

On Sunday, officials in Florida said a possible monkeypox case is being investigated. Two cases have been confirmed in New York City and Massachusetts.

“Utah’s public health system has not identified any exposure risk to the public due to these probable cases. Exposure concern is limited to specifically identified people who had direct, close contact with the infected individuals during their infectious period,” said the news release from Salt Lake County. It added that the Utah Department of Health and Human Services is now contacting people who had close contact with the two individuals who may be infected.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, exhaustion, as well as swollen lymph nodes. Infected people can develop a rash, often beginning on the face before spreading to other parts of the body, turning into lesions known as “pox” that eventually turn into scabs and fall off after several weeks.

“Currently, there is no proven, safe treatment for monkeypox, though the limited evidence available indicates that smallpox treatments may be useful. Most people recover with no treatment,” said Salt Lake’s health agency.

Earlier Monday, while speaking to reporters in Japan, President Joe Biden said it’s unlikely that U.S. officials will have to implement strict quarantine protocols to deal with the outbreak.

From The Epoch Times