Overall, the risk to the general public remains low, based on information available.
As of Thursday, August 11, a total of 1,945 cases of the monkeypox virus have been reported in California, and 11,890 cases in the United States. No deaths have been attributed to the monkeypox virus in California. To expand access to vaccinations and raise awareness of monkeypox, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on August 1.
Close, sustained skin-to-skin contact, including sexual contact, with a person with monkeypox appears to be the major mechanism associated with transmission among recent cases. While monkeypox can infect anyone, a majority of cases have occurred among persons self-identifying as men who have sex with men.
In humans, symptoms of monkeypox can be similar but milder than symptoms of smallpox.
Symptoms can begin with:
• Muscle aches
• Swollen lymph nodes
The time from infection to symptoms for monkeypox can range anywhere from 5−21 days. The illness typically lasts 2−4 weeks.
Anyone who has symptoms of monkeypox, such as characteristic rashes or lesions, should contact a health care provider right away. Your doctor will determine whether testing is appropriate. While you are waiting for your test result, please isolate at home.
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. Monkeypox can spread through touching materials used by a person with monkeypox that have not been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact.
• Monkeypox can be spread through:
o Direct skin-skin contact with rash lesions
o Sexual/intimate contact, including kissing
o Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone
o Sharing towels or unwashed clothing
o Respiratory secretions through prolonged face-to-face interactions (the type that mainly happen when living with someone or caring for someone who has monkeypox)
• Monkeypox is NOT spread through:
o Casual brief conversations
o Walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store
There are number of ways to prevent the spread of monkeypox, including:
• Always talking to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus
• Avoiding close contact, including sex, with people with symptoms like sores or rashes
• Practicing good hand hygiene
• Isolating until symptoms improve or have gone away completely. A rash should always be well covered until completely healed.
• Using appropriate personal protective equipment (such as a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms
• Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus
• Avoiding contact with infected animals
Yuba County Public Health is working with the California Department of Public Health on obtaining Jynneos vaccines for those at high-risk for monkeypox exposures. In the interim, Yuba County Public Health will refer those who are eligible to Sutter County Public Health for short-term assistance.
For more information, please refer to the CA Department of Public Health’s monkeypox information page: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/Monkeypox.aspx
Yuba County Health & Human Services has a page dedicated to updating information on important health alerts including monkeypox and COVID-19: yuba.org/healthalerts