Health officials in Salt Lake County, Utah, advise those traveling to West or Central Africa soon — or planning to go to countries that have recently reported cases of monkeypox — to consider making an appointment with a travel medicine clinic.
The county health department announced Monday that initial tests show possible cases of monkeypox in two adults from the same Salt Lake County home. The two men traveled abroad earlier this month, and have since developed symptoms.
County health officials said visiting a travel clinic can help people make sure they keep up with recommended vaccinations for travel and educate them about potential health risks at their destinations.
The Salt Lake County Utah clinic recommends scheduling a visit as soon as they know they will be traveling internationally—”because some immunizations require more than one shot spread over a period of time, and others require time before travel to be most effective,” he notes.
Travel Clinics Utah
• The Salt Lake County Health Department Travel Clinic is located in Salt Lake City at 610 S. 200 East, on the first floor. It’s open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and visits require an appointment that can be scheduled by calling 385-468-4111.
• The University of Utah Health Travel Clinic, based at the University Hospital, says it is the most comprehensive travel and immunization clinic in the state of Utah. Appointments can be made by calling 801-581-2898. Patients are asked to fill out an online survey about their travel plans in advance of their appointment.
• The Utah Department of Health and Human Services provides a list of regional travel clinics, which includes additional county clinics and private practice clinics and offices.
• The Davis County Department of Health International Travel Clinic requires appointments. To make one, call 801-525-5020.
Appointments in Davis County are available at 9 a.m., 10 a.m., and 11 a.m. as well as 2 p.m., 3 p.m., and 4 p.m. at both locations: Bountiful, 596 West 750 S, which is open Tuesdays and Thursdays; and at Clearfield, 22 South State Street, and is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
• The Utah Department of Health has clinics in Provo, American Fork, and Payson. Clinic visits can take up to two hours or more depending on where you intend to travel, your current vaccination status, and the number of travelers in your group. Most vaccines need to be administered at least two weeks before travel, but some, which are given in a series, can take one to six months to complete.
Provo Clinic opening hours and contact: 151 South University Ave., Suite 1900; 801-851-7025. Monday, Tuesday and Friday from 8 am to 3 pm; Wednesdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Thursday 9 am to 3 pm
American Fork Clinic opening hours and contact: 599 South 500 East, 801-851-7331. From Monday to Friday, from 8 am to 3 pm
Payson Clinic opening hours and contact: 285 North 1250 East, on the third floor of the Wasatch Mental Health Building; 801-851-7351. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 to 11:30 in the morning, then from 1 to 3 in the evening; Closed Tuesday and Thursday.
Salt Lake County health officials also advised Monday that the most important precautions travelers can take to prevent monkeypox are hand washing, avoiding contact with animals, and avoiding close contact with people who are showing symptoms of the disease.
According to the World Health Organization, the countries where monkeypox is endemic are Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Ghana (identified in animals only), Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, and the Republic of the Congo. Congo, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.
But health officials recently identified cases in countries across Europe and North America.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches, fatigue and swollen lymph nodes, Salt Lake County health officials said. People with monkeypox often develop a rash, which usually appears first on the face, and then turns into fluid-filled bumps called smallpox, according to a county news release. The infection can last between two and four weeks.
It usually takes seven to 14 days for an infected person to start showing symptoms, but this period can range from five to 21 days. “Infected people are not contagious before they develop symptoms,” officials said in a news release.
How does it spread?
Salt Lake County officials have advised that monkeypox generally does not spread by casual contact. Human-to-human transmission generally occurs through direct contact with bodily fluids, including monkeypox lesions. It can also happen through “prolonged and close face-to-face contact,” they said.
There is currently no confirmed, safe treatment for monkeypox, however — the limited available evidence suggests that smallpox treatments may be beneficial, officials said. Most people recover without treatment.
For more information on monkeypox, visit CDC.gov/monkeypox.
– This is a developing story and it will be updated.