Monkeypox spreads in state beyond metro Phoenix, but health expert says threat is low

Jul 13, 2022, 11:52 AM

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 — Arizona health officials have said monkeypox has spread in the state beyond metro Phoenix, but an expert said Wednesday there isn’t much to worry about when it comes to the disease.

“This isn’t a huge public health threat in Arizona because direct contact is how it’s spread,” Will Humble, executive director of the Arizona Public Health Association, told KTAR News 92.3 FM The Mike Broomhead Show. “It’s not anything to do with respiratory like COVID or anything.”

The state’s first non-Valley monkeypox case was diagnosed Tuesday in a man under 40 in Pima County who is isolating, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

There are eight monkeypox cases — one confirmed and seven presumptive positive — in Maricopa County.

The state’s most populous county has a limited supply of vaccine for those who have the disease or who have been exposed.

“Maricopa has got the vaccine, which is actually smallpox vaccine, and they’re doing vaccination around the direct contact,” Humble said.

“So, Maricopa and Pima are doing the right thing but this isn’t something for people to freak out about.”

Monkeypox transmission normally requires skin-to-skin contact, direct contact with body fluids or prolonged face-to-face contact.

Symptoms are typically similar to the flu with a rash and resolve within 2-4 weeks.

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Monkeypox spreads in state beyond metro Phoenix, but health expert says threat is low