The following is a press release issued by Mendocino County Public Health:
Public Notice: Public Health is monitoring international outbreaks of monkeypox and child hepatitis with state and national partners. Currently, there are no confirmed cases of monkeypox or child hepatitis in Mendocino County.
Monkeypox: On May 21, 2022, the California Department of Public Health began investigating one possible case of monkeypox in Sacramento County, CA in a person who recently travelled abroad. Monkeypox is usually found in Central and West Africa, and it does not occur naturally in the United States or Europe.
The World Health Organization (WHO) is tracking multiple cases of monkeypox that have been reported within the past weeks in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom. As of 1 PM on May 23, 2022, there were 160 cases confirmed worldwide. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is currently working with international partners to better understand the associated risk factors.
Monkeypox is a rare and usually mild illness that typically begins with flu-like illness and swelling of the lymph nodes and progresses to a rash on the face and body. Most infections last 2-4 weeks. The virus does not spread easily between people, but transmission can occur through close contact with sores, contaminated items, or rarely through respiratory droplets.
Child Hepatitis: There have been reports of cases of severe acute hepatitis of unknown origin between October 2021 and February 2022 among young children in European countries and in the United States. Worldwide, 180 pediatric patient cases are currently being investigated, and most cases have been in the United Kingdom (UK). Two children have required transplants.
The clinical syndrome among identified cases is acute hepatitis (liver inflammation) with markedly elevated liver enzymes. Most cases did not have a fever. The common viruses that cause acute viral hepatitis (hepatitis viruses A, B, C, D and E) have not been detected in any of these cases, and there are no known links to international travel or other countries.
The WHO is closely monitoring the situation and working with the UK health authorities, other Member States and partners. WHO does not recommend any restriction on travel and/or trade with the UK, or any other country where cases are identified, based on the currently available information.
Public Health alerted health care providers in Mendocino County to the situation and instructed them to consider liver enzyme tests on young children presenting with gastrointestinal symptoms and yellowing of the eyes (jaundice). If you are a parent with concerns, please contact your health care provider directly.
Public Health has alerted local healthcare providers to be on the lookout for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, regardless of whether they have traveled or have specific risk factors for monkeypox.
Per CDC guidance, suspicion for monkeypox should be heightened if a pox-like rash occurs in a person who: (1) traveled to countries where cases have been reported; or (2) report having contact with a person with a similar rash or person who received a diagnosis of monkeypox.
Overall in Mendocino County, the risk of contracting monkeypox is considered the be very low, and Public Health will continue to investigate with state and national partners. The CDC has information about monkeypox here: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/