State of Iowa Epi Update for Friday, August 12, 2022

Government and Politics

August 17, 2022

Epi Update for Friday, August 12, 2022

Center for Acute Disease Epidemiology (CADE)

Iowa Department of Public Health

Items for this week's Epi Update include:

-- Monkeypox update

-- CDC confirms first human influenza infection from pigs during 2022

-- Free online courses: Bring Home the Blue, Not the Flu! Now available in Spanish!

Monkeypox update:

An ongoing outbreak of monkeypox has spread across several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, with the highest case counts occurring the U.S, Europe, and Canada. As of August 11, 31,799 cases have been identified in 89 countries. A total of 10,768 cases have been identified in the U.S., with New York (2,187), California (1,892), and Florida (1,053) reporting the most cases. A total of 15 cases have been identified in Iowa.

Men who have sex with men make up a high number of cases. However, anyone who has been in close contact with someone who has monkeypox is at risk. The virus is spreading mostly through close, intimate contact with someone who has monkeypox.

The rash associated with monkeypox involves vesicles or pustules that are deep-seated, firm or hard, and well-circumscribed; the lesions may umbilicate or become confluent and progress over time to scabs. Presenting symptoms typically include fever, chills, distinctive rash, or new lymphadenopathy; however, onset of perianal or genital lesions in the absence of fever has been reported. The rash can be confused with other diseases (e.g., secondary syphilis, herpes, chancroid, and varicella zoster). A high index of suspicion for monkeypox is warranted when evaluating people with a characteristic rash, particularly for men who report sexual contact with men and individuals reporting travel history or contact with a case of monkeypox.

Clinicians must report suspected monkeypox cases to IDPH as soon as monkeypox is suspected and prior to collecting specimens.
- Contact IDPH by calling 515-242-5935 during business hours or 515-323-4360 outside of business hours.
- Contact SHL by calling 319-335-4500 or 1-800-421-4692.

For more information about the ongoing monkeypox outbreak, visit www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/index.html.

CDC confirms first human influenza infection from pigs during 2022

CDC has reported the first human infection with an influenza virus that usually spreads in pigs occurring during 2022. The person had direct contact with pigs at an agricultural fair, where pigs tested positive for influenza A. Recent reports of an increase in swine influenza outbreaks in pigs in the U.S. suggest the risk of exposure and infection with these viruses may be higher than usual this fair season, which can last into the fall. CDC recommends people take precautions around swine, including in the fair setting.

Every year there are rare, sporadic human infections with influenza viruses that usually spread in pigs. When found in people, these are called variant influenza infections and designated with the letter “v” after the subtype. Variant influenza infections are usually associated with contact with pigs, often at agricultural fairs. While these infections usually cause mild illness, they are concerning because they can cause severe illness, especially in people at higher risk of serious influenza complications, and their potential to cause an influenza pandemic.

For more information about the newly reported human infection, visit

For information on how to prevent the spread of influenza from pigs to humans, visit

Free online courses: Bring Home the Blue, Not the Flu! Now available in Spanish!

The Center for Food Security and Public Health (CFSPH) at ISU’s College of Veterinary Medicine has created two interactive, online courses and associated resources meant to educate youth on the transmission and prevention of zoonotic diseases and encourage healthy and safe interactions between humans and animals.

Two courses are available, one for elementary aged youth (6-12 years) and one for middle/high school aged youth (13-18 years). Each self-paced course includes lessons, case studies, and supplemental materials, such as guides for hands-on activities and educational workshops. New this year, these lessons, including associated supplementary materials, hands-on activity guides, and teacher materials have been translated into Spanish. To facilitate use in classroom settings, materials from Bring Home the Blue, Not the Flu! courses have also been adapted onto additional platforms, such as Google Classroom, Seesaw, and Teachers Pay Teachers. The site contains links to additional free resources on these platforms including educational content, classroom activities, assignments and more!

To learn more and to take or share the course in English, visit https://bluenotflu.org/.

To learn more and to take or share the course in Spanish, visit https://bluenotflu.org/es.

Funding for this project was provided by IDPH through the Influenza and Zoonoses Education among Youth in Agriculture program in collaboration with CDC and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).