(KGTV) – Health officials are investigating what may be the first suspected monkeypox case in California, it was announced Tuesday.
The California Department of Public Health confirmed they are working with Sacramento County health officials and the CDC after a person in Sacramento County, who recently traveled abroad, “tested preliminarily positive for an orthopox virus” over the weekend.
While the CDC has not yet confirmed that the virus the person contracted is monkeypox, state health officials said the unnamed person “is isolating and CDPH is working with county health officials and the CDC to ensure appropriate care and response, including contact tracing and post-exposure prevention for close contacts.”
State health officials noted that the “risk of monkeypox in the general population is very low.”
State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan said, "California is reporting its first suspected case of monkeypox infection in Sacramento County in a person who recently traveled abroad. The patient is isolating, and the California Department of Public Health is working quickly with local and federal health officials to ensure appropriate care and response, including contact tracing and post-exposure prevention for close contacts. The risk of monkeypox in the general population is very low.
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. As such, CDPH is promoting awareness amongst healthcare providers and the public, including appropriate infection control for monkeypox cases in the healthcare setting."
Health care providers across the U.S. are being urged to look out for patients who may have symptoms consistent with monkeypox, “especially if they have traveled to an area where monkeypox has been reported, or have had close contact with a person suspected of having monkeypox. The CDC has warned of a potential increased risk of exposure for those who self-identify as men who have sex with men.”