Without stating whether or not any cases have been identified in Mendocino County, local Public Health officials issued a press release this week about monkeypox, explaining that more than 400 cases have been confirmed in California since May of this year.
“The California Department of Public Health currently reports the risk from monkeypox to the general population as very low; however, we do want to identify any case early and begin control with home isolation,” Mendocino County Public Health Officer Dr. Andy Coren is quoted as saying in the release. “Monkeypox might start with symptoms like the flu, with fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and general body aches. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the person can develop a rash or sores. The sores will go through several stages, including fluid or pus-filled sores, and then scabs, before healing.”
The release goes on to urge that “People with monkeypox should isolate in their home until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The lesions usually persist for three weeks.
As for how it is transmitted, local health officials note that: “Monkeypox spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, hugging, massaging, and cuddling. The virus can also spread through soiled bed linens or towels and respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact. Do not share potentially contaminated items, such as bed linens, clothing, towels, wash clothes, drinking glasses, or eating utensils. The monkeypox incubation period is about 12 days.
Coren also notes that “there are vaccines available to help protect against monkeypox when given before or shortly after an exposure. Those considered at high risk are eligible for a vaccine and should not delay vaccination. Those directly exposed to a lab-confirmed case can also receive a vaccine if given shortly after exposure.”
The press release concludes by advising that anyone with “a new or an unexplained rash, or other symptoms seek medical care for further testing and evaluation.” Wear a mask and tell your healthcare provider of your current symptoms for possible monkeypox, or visit a local health clinic.”