Case of Monkeypox Reported in Canyon County


CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health (SWDH) is announcing the first case of monkeypox in its jurisdiction of an Idaho resident. The case was detected in Canyon County.

The investigation is ongoing. Local and state public health officials are working with the patient’s healthcare providers to ensure the patient is treated and any potential close contacts are identified and notified of exposure risk.

Testing for initial identification was performed at the Idaho Bureau of Laboratories, and samples are being sent to CDC for confirmation of the monkeypox virus; results from CDC are expected in the next week.

Monkeypox usually causes a mild illness, and most people recover on their own. Antivirals are available for patients who might have severe disease or develop complications. Southwest District Health recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox to reduce symptoms and prevent further spread in our community. Individuals with monkeypox should self-isolate until their lesions have fully healed with new skin where the lesions used to be.


How is monkeypox spread?

Monkeypox can spread to anyone through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including:

  • Direct contact with monkeypox rash, scabs, or body fluids from a person with monkeypox. We believe this is currently the most common way that monkeypox is spreading in the U.S.
  • Touching objects, fabrics (clothing, bedding, or towels), and surfaces that have been used by someone with monkeypox.
  • Contact with respiratory secretions.


What are the symptoms of monkeypox?

Close contacts should be monitored for symptoms for 21 days after their last exposure. Symptoms* of concern include:

  • Fever ≥100.4°F (38°C)
  • Chills
  • Swelling of the lymph nodes
  • New skin rash – Rash may look like pimples or blisters.

*Fever and rash occur in nearly all people infected with monkeypox virus.


If symptoms develop, contacts should immediately self-isolate and call Southwest District Health for further guidance. Contacts who remain asymptomatic can continue routine daily activities.


How to prevent monkeypox?

Take the following steps to prevent monkeypox:

  • Avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
    • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
    • Do not kiss, hug, cuddle or have sex with someone with monkeypox.
    • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or touch the bedding, towels, or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


What to do if you have symptoms of monkeypox?

SWDH encourages anyone who is experiencing an unexplained skin rash with or without a fever to contact their healthcare provider and avoid contact with others. If possible, call ahead before going to a healthcare facility. If you are not able to call ahead, tell a staff member as soon as you arrive that you are concerned about monkeypox. Tell your doctor if in the month before developing symptoms:

Anyone who is ill with these symptoms is encouraged to follow SWDH and their healthcare provider’s advice to help prevent the spread to others.


For more information on monkeypox please visit

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Southwest District Health Media Contacts:

Ashley Anderson

Katrina Williams


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Health advisory issued for CJ STRIKE RESERVOIR


Health advisory issued for CJ STRIKE RESERVOIR                                          

Based on Idaho’s Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) testing and Idaho’s public health advisory guidelines, Southwest District Health (SWDH) is issuing a health advisory for CJ Strike Reservoir. SWDH urges residents to use caution when recreating in or near the water. Recent samples taken from the water body indicate high concentrations of toxin-producing cyanobacteria, which can be harmful to people, pets, and livestock. Those with liver or kidney damage are at an increased risk of illness.

When recreating near or in CJ Strike Reservoir, take the following precautions while the advisory is in effect:

  • Avoid swimming, wading, or other activities in the water. Take extra precautions to ensure children, pets, and livestock are not exposed to the water. Do not drink or cook with water containing a bloom. Boiling and filtering the water does not remove the toxins and can increase the risk of adverse health effects.
  • Wash hands thoroughly in clean water after handling fish caught in water experiencing a bloom. Cyanotoxins can accumulate in fish and the risk to people is being researched. Clean and wash fish thoroughly in uncontaminated water and dispose of internal organs before consumption. If you choose to eat fish from this area, filet the fish and remove all fat, skin, and organs before cooking.
  • Clean skin or pet fur with clean water as soon as possible after any water contact.

The public will be advised when it is likely the concern no longer exists.

Symptoms of cyanotoxin exposure include rashes, hives, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing, and/or wheezing. More severe symptoms affecting the liver and nervous system may result from ingesting water. If symptoms persist, consult your healthcare provider.

Pets, livestock, and wildlife can get sick, or even die, within minutes to days after cyanotoxin exposure. Dogs are often the first affected because they are more likely to swim in or drink contaminated water or lick contaminated water or bloom material off their fur. If your pets or livestock have been in the water, immediately wash them with clean water to keep them from licking cyanobacteria off their bodies. Seek veterinary care immediately if your pets or livestock seem sick after going in or drinking the water.

Cyanobacteria are a natural part of Idaho’s water bodies. When temperatures rise, their populations can bloom and toxic chemical compounds, or cyanotoxins, can be released into the water. Blooms can vary in appearance, and may look like mats, foam, spilled paint, or surface scum, and have a foul odor. SWDH works closely with the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare (IDHW) and the DEQ in identifying, responding to, and monitoring cyanobacteria harmful algal blooms (HABS).

For more information about harmful algal blooms, visit DEQ’s website at or IDHW’s website at

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Media Contacts:

DEQ media contact:
Anna Marron

IDHW media contact:
Niki Forbing-Orr

SWDH media contacts:
Ashley Anderson

Katrina Williams

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CALDWELL, IDAHO – Southwest District Health—in conjunction with the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)—has lifted the health advisory for Lake Lowell. The advisory was issued in August 2021. 

DEQ officials monitor blue-green algae and associated toxins where harmful algal blooms (HABs) are present and have confirmed that blue-green algae levels in Lake Lowell have returned to normal and toxin levels are below the safety threshold.  

Other blooms may exist on this water body that have not been reported to DEQ or the health district. Water users should always exercise caution around water bodies with visible slime, surface scum, or a foul odor. High concentrations of toxin-producing blue-green algae may cause illness to both humans and animals. Report any concerns to DEQ at 208.373.0550. 

For more information related to current recreational water quality health advisories, visit

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Media Contacts: 
Ashley Anderson 
Katrina Williams  

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