Idaho Division of Public Health and Central District Health are announcing the first two reported people diagnosed with mpox in Idaho since last year. Investigation is ongoing, but both persons reported traveling outside the state, which may be related to these diagnoses. Both people diagnosed with mpox are Ada County residents. There is currently no evidence of ongoing transmission of mpox in Idaho.
Mpox, which was previously called monkeypox, is caused by a virus that can spread through prolonged direct contact with someone with mpox or, very rarely, touching things like bedding or towels contaminated with the virus. Infection usually causes a rash that can look like pimples at first and then like blisters. These may be all over the body or just in certain places, such as the face, hands, or feet, as well as on or inside the mouth, genitals, or anus.
Some people can also have flu-like symptoms such as sore throat, runny nose, cough, fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, muscle aches, headache, and tiredness. Someone with mpox might have all or only a few symptoms. A person with mpox can spread it to others from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed.
People who have been exposed to someone with mpox should watch for symptoms for 21 days afterward and get vaccinated against mpox as soon as possible (preferably within four days but up to 14 days after exposure) if they are not already vaccinated.
Mpox vaccine (JYNNEOS) can help prevent mpox and may help make symptoms less severe. People should get two doses four weeks apart for the best protection against mpox. People who should not get JYNNEOS are those who have had a severe allergic reaction (such as anaphylaxis) after getting the first dose. During the 2022 mpox outbreak, anaphylactic reactions were reported in about three per million doses administered.
Vaccine may be given in the skin of the forearm, upper back, or shoulder, or under the skin on the back of the arm. Records indicate about one in three Idahoans who had the first dose of JYNNEOS didn’t receive a second dose.
“Since the first infection in the U.S., we have gained more knowledge and tools we can use to reduce the impact of this virus,” said Central District Health Staff Epidemiologist Sarah Wright. “One of these is the mpox vaccine, a preventive tool that has been shown to make symptoms milder in people that get mpox. If you are interested in this vaccine, talk to your healthcare provider or a provider at Central District Health.”
- Find an mpox vaccine site near you by using the mpox vaccine locator at https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/mpox/vaccines/vaccine-recommendations.html.
- For more information about mpox and mpox vaccine, see https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/mpox/index.html.
- For information about how else to lower your risk for mpox, see https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/mpox/prevention/sexual-health.html.
- If you have mpox, talk to your healthcare provider to decide if the antiviral tecovirimat (TPOXX) is right for you. For more information about tecovirimat, see https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/mpox/if-sick/treatment.html.
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at healthandwelfare.idaho.gov.
CDH, Public Health District IV, is one of seven public health districts within the state of Idaho, serving the counties of Ada, Boise, Elmore, and Valley.