Arizona Edition

Officials Say First Monkeypox Case Identified in Maricopa County

Arizona’s first case of monkeypox, a rare virus with a global rise in infections this year, was confirmed in Maricopa County, health officials said Tuesday.

Officials stressed that the risk from a single case of monkeypox remains low.

“It’s important to remember that monkeypox remains a rare disease here in the United States and in Maricopa County,” Rebecca Sunenshain, medical director for disease control at the Maricopa County Public Health Department, wrote in a press release. .

Monkeypox is not a new disease. First reported in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in 1970, it is endemic to several other countries in Central and West Africa. Elsewhere, isolated outbreaks have occurred over the years, including in the United States and Europe.

But this year, the disease has caused further concern among some health officials. More cases than usual have been reported. So far, about 20 cases have been confirmed in the United States, from California to Massachusetts. “This is the first time that a person who has never traveled to an endemic area of ​​Africa has confirmed cases in many countries at the same time,” said a World Health Organization researcher. recently said.

Monkeypox, unlike COVID-19, is not a respiratory disease, much less contagiousSpread by skin-to-skin contact, primarily sexual contact, according to the World Health Organization.

The symptoms of this disease are similar to smallpox. It begins with fever and a rash that turns into crusted, pus-filled skin sores.

However, monkeypox is less severe than smallpox. There are some examples of monkeypox outbreaks in other countries, lethality Between 3 and 10%, the last US outbreak in 2003 had no fatal cases.

“It’s important to note that monkeypox is highly controllable with simple precautions,” said Don Herrington, interim director of the Arizona Department of Health Services.

State and Maricopa County health officials said Tuesday that the case identified in Arizona is still considered a “probable case,” but the infected man tested positive and is awaiting the results of another test. ing.

Few details have been provided about the incident or its origin, other than the fact that it was found in Maricopa County.

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