Coconino County Health and Human Services (CCHHS), in partnership with state and federal partners, is responding to the recent increase in monkeypox illness in the United States. Although no cases have been identified in Coconino County, 102 monkeypox cases have been reported in Arizona as of August 5, 2022, and more than 7,000 cases have been identified in 49 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and prevention (CDC).
Last week, the Biden administration declared the ongoing spread of monkeypox virus in the United States a Public Health Emergency (PHE) and last month, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared monkeypox a public health emergency of international concern.
Monkeypox infections are typically not severe; symptoms are usually similar to the flu with a rash and 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.
“People are typically infected by close skin-to-skin contact or direct contact with body fluids,” CCHHS Director Kim Musselman said. “Those with symptoms such as a rash, fever, or swollen lymph nodes are urged to consult their healthcare provider or call the CCHHS Information Line at 928-679-7300.”
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 current testing protocols and guidance.
The monkeypox vaccine is available in very limited supply in Coconino County. The CCHHS Clinic, in accordance with the Arizona Department of Health Services criteria for post exposure vaccination, is prioritizing the limited vaccine quantities for people who have known or suspected exposure and are within the post-exposure timeframe where that protection can still be effective.
As vaccine supply increases, vaccinations will be available for those at highest risk of being exposed. No timeframe has been identified for expanding vaccine eligibility.
To help prevent the spread of monkeypox and other viruses, wash your hands frequently and stay home if you feel ill.
For more information on prevention, vaccination, and treatment, please visit www.coconino.az.gov/monkeypox.