August 24, 2022
Lake County/CSKT Tribal Health Announces First Probable Case of Monkeypox in Lake County
The Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), Lake County Health Department and CSKT Tribal Health Department today confirmed a single probable case of monkeypox virus infection in a Lake County adult.
Initial testing was completed August 24, 2022 at Montana State Public Health Laboratory and confirmatory testing will occur next with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Lake County and CSKT Tribal Public Health are working closely together to identify individuals who may have been in contact with the patient while they were infectious. Both agencies are working together performing contact tracing and will communicate with individuals identified as a close contact. The patient did not require hospitalization and is isolating at home. To protect patient confidentiality, no further details related to the patient will be disclosed.
Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body.
The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks and most people get better on their own without treatment. At times, monkeypox can cause scars from the sores, the development of secondary infections, such as pneumonia, or other complications.
The virus does not easily spread between people with casual contact, but transmission can occur through contact with infectious sores and body fluids; contaminated items such as clothing or bedding; or through respiratory droplets associated with prolonged face-to-face contact.
There is no treatment specifically for monkeypox. But because monkeypox and smallpox viruses are closely related, antiviral drugs and vaccines developed to protect against smallpox may be used to prevent and treat monkeypox virus infections. The need for treatment will depend on how sick someone gets or whether they are likely to get severely ill. DPHHS has prepositioned a supply of antiviral medications in the state for use, if necessary. 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 call their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox.
A person who is sick with monkeypox should 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, when possible.
To learn more about this virus, visit the CDC website here: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/
Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause mild respiratory illnesses such as the common cold. Some coronaviruses have caused severe illness, such as SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) and MERS (Middles East Respiratory Syndrome). COVID-19 is caused by a new coronavirus not previously identified in humans prior to December 2019.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the state Department of Public Health and Human Services (DPHHS), Lake County Public Health (LCPH), and CSKT Tribal Health have been and will continue to closely monitor the outbreak of Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).
COVID-19 spreads when an infected person breathes out droplets and very small particles that contain the virus. These droplets and particles can be breathed in by other people or land on their eyes, noses, or mouth. In some circumstances, they may contaminate surfaces they touch. People who are closer than 6 feet from the infected person are most likely to get infected.
COVID-19 is spread in three main ways:
- Breathing in air when close to an infected person who is exhaling small droplets and particles that contain the virus.
- Having these small droplets and particles that contain the virus land on the eyes, nose, or mouth, especially through splashes and sprays like a cough or sneeze.
- Touching eyes, nose, or mouth with hands that have the virus on them.
For more information about how COVID-19 spreads, visit the CDC's How COVID-19 Spreads page to learn how COVID-19 spreads and how to protect yourself.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported - ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2 to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
When to Seek Emergency Medical Attention
Look for emergency warning signs for COVID-19. If someone is showing any of these signs, seek emergency medical care immediately:
- Trouble breathing
- Persistent pain or pressure in the chest
- New confusion
- Inability to wake or stay awake
- Bluish lips or face
This list is not all possible symptoms. Please call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.
Both St. Luke Community Healthcare 406-676-4441 and Providence St. Joseph Medical Center 406-883-5680 provide COVID-19 testing.
Tribal Health Clinics in Polson and St. Ignatius also provide COVID-19 testing for Tribal Health Recipients.
At-home test kits are available for pick-up at LCPH.
Contact tracing identifies, notifies, and monitors the close contacts of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. Contact Tracing is an important tool to contain COVID-19 outbreaks. A close contact to someone with COVID-19 may develop the illness and spread it to others, so identifying and quarantining those who were exposed is key to stopping the spread.
There are 4 steps involved in contact tracing:
A close contact is defined as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic cases, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.
It’s important to note that even when people are released from isolation, many of them continue to feel the effects of COVID-19 infection long after they are released from isolation.
Yes! COVID-19 vaccine is available to all Lake County residents 5 years of age and older.
Please visit the Montana Vaccination Sign-up to schedule an appointment.
You may also contact St. Luke Community Healthcare, St. Joseph Medical Center or CSKT Tribal Health for vaccination information.
Lake County Public Health thanks everyone in the community for their patience and continued diligence (wearing a mask, hand washing, physically distancing and staying home when sick) as we work to distribute vaccine to our community.
If You Test Positive
- Isolate for five full days and inform your close contacts. After five days, you may end your quarantine if you are fever-free for 24 hours (without the use of fever reducing medication) and your symptoms are improving.
- Wear a mask for an additional five days when around others and avoid indoor gatherings.
- Complete this questionnaire.
- Report positive home test results to DPHHS.
Lake County/Flathead Reservation COVID-19 case total (updated weekly)
Lake County Vaccines (updated weekly)
50,819 doses given ~ 18,433 (59%) fully immunized