Montana is the 49th state to report monkeypox

news desk @bactiman63

The Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS) and Flathead City-County Health Department confirmed a single suspected case of monkeypox virus infection in an adult in Flathead County on Friday.


Initial testing was completed on August 5, 2022 at the Montana State Public Health Laboratory and confirmatory testing will occur next with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

DPHHS is working closely with local public health and the patient’s healthcare provider to identify people who may have come into contact with the patient while he was infectious. The local public health jurisdiction is conducting contact tracing and will contact those identified as a close contact. The patient did not require hospitalization and is in isolation at home.

As of Friday, the CDC reported 7,510 cases of monkeypox/orthopoxvirus in 48 other US states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

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Wyoming is the only state with no recorded cases of monkeypox.

Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash that may look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth and on other parts of the body.

The illness usually lasts 2-4 weeks and most people recover on their own without treatment. Sometimes monkeypox can cause wound scarring, the development of secondary infections, such as pneumonia, or other complications.

The virus does not spread easily between people with casual contact, but transmission can occur through contact with infectious wounds and bodily fluids; contaminated items, such as clothing or bedding; or by respiratory droplets associated with prolonged face-to-face contact.

“Early recognition of the characteristic monkeypox rash by patients and clinicians is necessary to minimize the transmission of this virus,said acting DPHHS physician Dr. Maggie Cook-Shimanek. “Anyone showing symptoms of monkeypox should self-isolate from others and seek immediate medical attention.”

Because transmission of monkeypox requires close and prolonged contact, close-knit social networks have been particularly affected.

There is no specific treatment for monkeypox. But because monkeypox and smallpox viruses are closely related, antiviral drugs (such as tecovirimat) and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox can be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. The need for treatment will depend on how sick a person is or if they are likely to become seriously ill. The DPHHS is pre-positioning a reserve of as-is tecovirimat for use, if needed. The CDC does not recommend widespread vaccination against monkeypox at this time. However, vaccination may be recommended for some people who have been exposed to monkeypox virus.

Anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should tell their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they’ve been in contact with someone who has monkeypox.

A person with monkeypox should self-isolate at home. If they have an active rash or other symptoms, they should be in a separate room or area from other family members and pets, if possible.