Fourth suspected monkeypox case identified in Sacramento County; 30 close contacts get vaccine

Fourth suspected monkeypox case identified in Sacramento County; 30 close contacts get vaccine

A fourth suspected monkeypox case has been identified in Sacramento County and nearly three dozen close contacts for all the cases have received a vaccine, public health officials said on Monday. All of the cases have been linked to the initial case stemming from someone who had recently traveled to Europe. That case was first reported by a health provider on May 21. | VIDEO BELOW | Sac County public health officer explains contact tracing for monkeypox“At this time the risk to the general public is low but people still do need to be aware,” Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said in a briefing. The fourth person was identified last week and the results from initial testing came back on Friday. The case still needs to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sacramento County waited to alert the public until first notifying the individual, the California Department of Public Health and the CDC. All of those with suspected or confirmed monkeypox cases have mild illnesses and are staying at home, Kasirye said. Thirty close contacts have received a monkeypox vaccine, which has to be ordered from the CDC, county officials said. Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes chills, and exhaustion. The patient can also develop a rash days later that often begins in the face and spreads to other parts of the body. It can cause lesions. The illness can last anywhere from two to four weeks. Some people only develop the rash as their first symptom.| RELATED | Doctors discuss facts on monkeypox amid second suspected Sacramento County caseKasirye said that each time someone is identified with the virus it starts the contact tracing process anew, which means it could be another three weeks at least before officials will know that there aren’t any new cases. Monkeypox virus can be transmitted when a person comes into contact with an animal, human or materials like clothing or bedding contaminated with the virus. The virus can enter the body through the broken skin of a lesion, respiratory tract, or mucous membranes, which include the eyes, mouth and nose.Kasirye stressed that monkeypox is not as contagious as COVID-19. For example, there needs to be at least three hours of contact with someone in the same space to be considered exposed, she said. Monkeypox was first identified in 1958 and mostly is found in Central and West African countries.There have been occasional cases in the U.S., including a 2003 outbreak in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin from imported prairie dogs that had 47 confirmed and probable cases.As of June 3, there are 25 cases in the United States of monkeypox or orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses that includes monkeypox, from the current outbreak.COVID-19 surge may be in a ‘slowdown’ but highly contagious omicron subvariants are circulating and can cause reinfections. At the same briefing, Kasirye said that COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in the county, but the peak could be near. “There are some indications that there might be a slowdown but it’s too early to tell,” she said. “We know that this most recent surge is caused by subvariants.”Cases and hospitalizations are nowhere near the peak from January, she said. As of Wednesday, there were 36.1 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 253 back in January. Hospitalizations stand at 150 people with COVID-19, compared to more than 600 at the height of the omicron surge. But health officials said that increased travel and more contagious subvariants could affect COVID-19 levels heading into summer. The BA.2 subvariant has been the predominant strain, but in the past week BA.2.12 and BA2.12.1 are moving up, health officials said. “For the general public the difference is the more recent subvariants tend to be more contagious and a reminder that people can get reinfected,” Kasirye said. Infections are following similar patterns across demographics and ZIP codes, though there has been a “slight uptick” over the past month in whites and Asians, as well as people ages 34-50, epidemiology program manager Jamie White said. Kasirye continued to “strongly recommend” that people wear masks in public places and said that vaccines “are our best protection.” Businesses can also choose to require masking, especially if they interact with the public or are having outbreaks at work, she said.County health officials said they are following state guidelines and have not imposed a mask mandate.

A fourth suspected monkeypox case has been identified in Sacramento County and nearly three dozen close contacts for all the cases have received a vaccine, public health officials said on Monday.

All of the cases have been linked to the initial case stemming from someone who had recently traveled to Europe. That case was first reported by a health provider on May 21.

| VIDEO BELOW | Sac County public health officer explains contact tracing for monkeypox

“At this time the risk to the general public is low but people still do need to be aware,” Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said in a briefing.

The fourth person was identified last week and the results from initial testing came back on Friday. The case still needs to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sacramento County waited to alert the public until first notifying the individual, the California Department of Public Health and the CDC.

All of those with suspected or confirmed monkeypox cases have mild illnesses and are staying at home, Kasirye said.

Thirty close contacts have received a monkeypox vaccine, which has to be ordered from the CDC, county officials said.

Monkeypox symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes chills, and exhaustion. The patient can also develop a rash days later that often begins in the face and spreads to other parts of the body. It can cause lesions. The illness can last anywhere from two to four weeks. Some people only develop the rash as their first symptom.

| RELATED | Doctors discuss facts on monkeypox amid second suspected Sacramento County case

Kasirye said that each time someone is identified with the virus it starts the contact tracing process anew, which means it could be another three weeks at least before officials will know that there aren’t any new cases.

Monkeypox virus can be transmitted when a person comes into contact with an animal, human or materials like clothing or bedding contaminated with the virus. The virus can enter the body through the broken skin of a lesion, respiratory tract, or mucous membranes, which include the eyes, mouth and nose.

Kasirye stressed that monkeypox is not as contagious as COVID-19. For example, there needs to be at least three hours of contact with someone in the same space to be considered exposed, she said.

Monkeypox was first identified in 1958 and mostly is found in Central and West African countries.

There have been occasional cases in the U.S., including a 2003 outbreak in Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio and Wisconsin from imported prairie dogs that had 47 confirmed and probable cases.

As of June 3, there are 25 cases in the United States of monkeypox or orthopoxvirus, the family of viruses that includes monkeypox, from the current outbreak.

COVID-19 surge may be in a ‘slowdown’ but highly contagious omicron subvariants are circulating and can cause reinfections.

At the same briefing, Kasirye said that COVID-19 cases are continuing to rise in the county, but the peak could be near.

“There are some indications that there might be a slowdown but it’s too early to tell,” she said. “We know that this most recent surge is caused by subvariants.”

Cases and hospitalizations are nowhere near the peak from January, she said.

As of Wednesday, there were 36.1 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 253 back in January. Hospitalizations stand at 150 people with COVID-19, compared to more than 600 at the height of the omicron surge.

But health officials said that increased travel and more contagious subvariants could affect COVID-19 levels heading into summer.

The BA.2 subvariant has been the predominant strain, but in the past week BA.2.12 and BA2.12.1 are moving up, health officials said.

“For the general public the difference is the more recent subvariants tend to be more contagious and a reminder that people can get reinfected,” Kasirye said.

Infections are following similar patterns across demographics and ZIP codes, though there has been a “slight uptick” over the past month in whites and Asians, as well as people ages 34-50, epidemiology program manager Jamie White said.

Kasirye continued to “strongly recommend” that people wear masks in public places and said that vaccines “are our best protection.”

Businesses can also choose to require masking, especially if they interact with the public or are having outbreaks at work, she said.

County health officials said they are following state guidelines and have not imposed a mask mandate.

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