Monkeypox case confirmed in Solano County, health officials say


(Still video frame courtesy Deutsche Welle)

The Solano County Public Health Office has confirmed the first known local case of monkeypox, as well as two probable cases of the virus.

The announcement was made in a press release sent to reporters Tuesday morning. Health officials did not say where specifically in Solano County the first confirmed case was diagnosed, nor did they point to specific areas for the other two probable cases of the virus.

“Public Health is monitoring the situation closely to ensure the health and safety of Solano County residents and limit the spread of the disease,” Dr. Bela Matyas, Solano County’s public health officer, said in a statement. “Though the risk of infection is very low, we encourage people who may have been exposed to contact their medical provider immediately and watch for symptoms.”

California currently has over 250 confirmed and probable cases of monkeypox, health officials said this week. While rare, the cases of monkeypox in the United States have grown in recent months following the first known case that was identified on the East Coast, originating with a person who had recently traveled abroad.

The monkeypox virus is similar to the smallpox virus, as are the symptoms associated with it. People diagnosed with monkeypox can expect flu-like symptoms like fever and low energy, possibly combined with other symptoms like sores, a rash, pimples and painful blisters.

The virus is spread from close person-to-person contact, including sexual encounters. Outbreaks of the virus have been reported in increasing numbers among men who have sexual contact with other men, but health officials say it is not exclusive to that social group and can spread between any person with close contact.

In the United States, the Food and Drug Administration has approved two vaccines that are being administered to people who have a higher likelihood of coming into contact with monkeypox compared to the average citizen. There is a limited supply of one type of vaccine and an ample supply of the other, the Centers for Disease Control said, but the effect of each vaccine on the current strain of the monkeypox virus is currently unknown.

Health experts say people can prevent the spread of monkeypox by avoiding those with symptoms and taking basic hygiene and prevention measures like washing hands with soap and water. Those with symptoms should seek medical attention and self-isolate to avoid spreading the virus to others.

In Solano County, health officials should report confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox by calling the Solano Public Health Office’s Communicable Diseases Unit at 707-784-8001.

For more information on the monkeypox virus, including outbreak data, vaccination information and tips on how to prevent the spread of the disease, visit the Centers for Disease Control website by clicking or tapping here.

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