ARIZONA NEWS

Maricopa County officials identify 1st probable monkeypox case in Arizona

Jun 7, 2022, 11:42 AM | Updated: 3:25 pm
monkeypox samples...
A medical laboratory technician picks up from a fridge a reactive to test suspected monkeypox samples at the microbiology laboratory of La Paz Hospital on June 6, 2022, in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images)

PHOENIX – Maricopa County health officials announced Tuesday they have identified the first probable case of monkeypox in the Arizona.

Arizona State Public Health Laboratory testing of a man in his late 30s produced a “presumptive positive result,” the Maricopa County Department of Public Health said in a press release. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is doing testing to confirm the diagnosis.

No other details about the patient, who is recovering in isolation, were released.

Most monkeypox patients experience only fever, body aches, chills and fatigue. People with more serious illness may develop a rash and lesions on the face and hands that can spread to other parts of the body.

Don Herrington, interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services, said his agency is working with local health departments to identify and respond to potential monkeypox cases.

“It’s important to note that monkeypox is highly controllable through simple precautions,” he said in the release.

Those steps include washing your hands after touching somebody, wearing a mask in crowded indoor spaces and staying home if you are experiencing fever or respiratory symptoms.

As of Monday, the CDC confirmed 31 confirmed monkeypox cases nationwide in 12 states and the District of Columbia.

Monkeypox is endemic in parts of Africa, where people have been infected through bites from rodents or small animals. It does not usually spread easily among people.

But last month, cases began emerging in Europe and the United States. Many — but not all — of those who contracted the virus had traveled internationally, and health officials in a growing number of countries are investigating.

The ongoing outbreak marks the first time the disease has been known to spread among people who have no previous travel links to Africa.

Genetic analysis of recent monkeypox cases suggests there are two distinct strains in the U.S., health officials said last week, raising the possibility that the virus has been circulating undetected for some time.

Many of the U.S. cases were caused by the same strain as recent cases in Europe, but a few samples show a different strain, federal health officials said. Each strain had been seen in U.S. cases last year, before the recent international outbreak was identified.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Maricopa County officials identify 1st probable monkeypox case in Arizona