SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento County public health officials say they are investigating a likely travel-related case of monkeypox virus.
The likely case — which would be the first in California — was announced Tuesday by public health officials.
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“This case appears to be related to recent trips to Europe,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, the Sacramento County public health officer, in a statement.
dr. Kasirye noted that the risk to the general public is “extremely low.”
California Department of Health officials say they began investigating the suspected case on Saturday. The person initially tested positive for the orthopox virus and is now in isolation.
“Because the disease is rare, health care providers may not be familiar with the presentation of monkeypox and the possibility of monkeypox transmission during intimate or sexual contact may not be well known,” said epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan of the State of California in a statement. “As such, CDPH promotes awareness among healthcare providers and the public, including appropriate infection control for cases of monkeypox in healthcare.”
While not an STD, the World Health Organization says the most recent increase in monkeypox cases is primarily spread through sex between men, entering the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract, or the eyes, nose, or mouth.
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Health officials in Europe have been sounding the alarm over an outbreak of the rare disease in recent weeks. So far, more than 90 cases have been registered in a dozen countries, including the UK, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, Australia and the US.
Only one case of monkey pox has been confirmed in the US, one person in Boston. However, other suspicious cases have been recorded in Florida and New York.
While confirmation tests from both the CDC and the California Department of Public Health are pending, Sacramento County officials say symptoms and their preliminary tests lead them to believe monkeypox confirmation is likely for their case.
dr. Dean Blumberg, an infectious disease specialist at UC Davis, says there are things we already know about the Monkeypox virus.
Monkeypox is a viral infection and is mainly transmitted to humans through animals such as rodents and primates in Central and West Africa.but it can also be transmitted from person to person through prolonged close contact with someone,” he said.
People suffering from monkey pox will show characteristic rashes and lesions. It can be spread through close contact with someone who is infected. Other common monkey pox symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Health officials say the incubation period can range from 5-21 days, with the illness typically lasting 2-4 weeks.
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The smallpox vaccine, which protects against monkeypox, is supplied to: public health authorities.