Maricopa County confirms first case of mpox since January

The World Health Organization changed the name from “monkeypox” in late 2022
Maricopa County says it has its first confirmed case of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox,...
Maricopa County says it has its first confirmed case of mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, since January.(WHSV)
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 1:31 PM MST
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PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A case of mpox, previously called monkeypox, has been confirmed in Maricopa County, the county announced in a press release. It’s the first case in the county since January. The person who was diagnosed with mpox was fully vaccinated, but they had mild symptoms and are now recovering.

Maricopa County’s Department of Public Health recommends everyone gets vaccinated against mpox. “Like we see with other vaccines, while vaccination may not prevent disease completely, it will reduce the severity of disease,” medical epidemiologist at MCDPH Dr. Nick Staab said. “Last summer’s mpox outbreak led to many hospitalizations and some deaths in the U.S. People being aware of the risk of mpox in our community and getting vaccinated can prevent severe disease and decrease the spread.”

The agency also says people should take precautions like using sunscreen, following heat safety tips, as well as staying up to date on vaccines and ways to prevent sexually transmitted infections.

Although mpox is no longer a global outbreak emergency, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it’s been receiving reports of cases that “reflect ongoing community transmission in the United States and internationally.” From April 17 to May 5, 12 confirmed cases and one probable case of mpox were reported in the Chicago area by the city’s Department of Public Health. None of the people affected have been hospitalized.

Although vaccine immunity isn’t 100%, the CDC says, “vaccination continues to be one of the most important prevention measures.”

Symptoms include a rash on any part of the body, which can initially look like pimples or blisters and can be painful or itchy. Other symptoms can include fever, chills, swollen lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches and backache, headache and respiratory symptoms (for example, sore throat, nasal congestion or cough). People may experience all or only a few symptoms.

Those with a higher risk include:

  • People who have been identified by public health officials as a contact of someone with mpox
  • People who, in the past 12 months, have had:
    • A new diagnosis of one or more nationally reportable sexually transmitted diseases (i.e., acute HIV, chancroid, chlamydia, gonorrhea, or syphilis)
    • More than one sex partner
  • People who have had any of the following in the past 6 months:
    • Sex at a commercial sex venue
    • Sex in association with a large public event in a geographic area where mpox transmission is occurring
  • Sexual partners of people with the above risks
  • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks
  • Health care providers who work in settings where exposure to mpox infection is anticipated on a daily basis, such as:
    • Lab workers who routinely work with mpox specimens
    • Health care providers who work in sexual health/STI clinics
    • Health care providers who work in settings primarily serving LGBTQIA+ communities