Aug. 2—Although the monkeypox virus has been detected in California, Tehama County Health Services Agency said there have been no confirmed cases reported in the county at this time.
The World Health Organization recently declared monkeypox to be a global health emergency.
Typically found in central and western Africa, since the spring of 2022 there have been numerous cases of monkeypox in countries across the globe.
According to the California Department of Public Health, as of July 21, there were 434 confirmed cases in California, including one pediatric case.
While the sudden spread of monkeypox can be concerning, health officials said it is important to keep some things in mind.
Monkeypox is not a new virus, it was discovered in 1958, and is much less contagious than COVID-19. However, be alert because monkeypox can be painful and make individuals very sick.
Tehama County Health Services Agency provided the following list of symptoms and transmission: — Typically, monkeypox begins with flu-like symptoms such as fever, fatigue, headache, and swollen lymph nodes; followed by the development of a rash or sores. The sores can be painful and itchy and often look like pimples or blisters. Before healing, the sores often turn to scabs. — Monkeypox mainly spreads through direct skin-to-skin contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids. — It can also spread during prolonged, face-to-face contact or by touching items used by a person with monkeypox that haven't been cleaned such as sheets and clothing. — Monkeypox is not spread through casual brief conversations or walking by someone with monkeypox, like in a grocery store.
In the area of prevention, county health services said there are things people can do to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the monkeypox virus. — Avoid physical contact with people who have symptoms. — If someone has a rash or sores, do not touch their bedding, towels, or clothing. — Talk to sexual partner(s) about any recent symptoms and be aware of new sores on you or a sexual partner. — Practice good hand hygiene by frequently washing your hands.
What to do if you have symptoms
Anyone who believes they have symptoms or believe they were exposed needs to talk to a health care provider as soon as possible and discuss testing and treatment options. Also, someone with monkeypox needs to cover any sores on their skin and isolate from others, including using separate towels, bedding, utensils and such, until the rash is gone and the open lesions have healed.
For more information, contact Tehama County Health Services Agency — Public Health Red
Bluff: 530-527-6824; Corning: 530-824-4890; or toll free: 1-800-655-6854.