The following is a press release issued by Mendocino County Public Health:
Monkeypox is a viral disease related to smallpox that has been endemic in animals in Central and East Africa and rarely has jumped to humans or out of Africa. Since early May 2022, cases of monkeypox have been confirmed in places where it is not usually seen, including the USA. In California, 434 cases have been confirmed. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) currently reports the risk from monkeypox to the general population as very low.
However, we do want to identify any case early and begin control with home isolation. Monkeypox might start with symptoms like the flu, with fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and general body aches. Within 1 to 3 days (sometimes longer) after the appearance of fever, the person can develop a rash or sores (see attached image). The sores will go through several stages, including fluid or pus-filled sores, and then scabs, before healing. People with monkeypox should isolate in their home until the rash has fully resolved, the scabs have fallen off and a fresh layer of skin has formed. The lesions usually persist for 3 weeks.
Although anyone can be infected by monkeypox, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, or community affiliation, there have been infections diagnosed in gay and bisexual men, transgender men and women, and non-binary and other queer people across the US.
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.
The virus can also spread through soiled bed linens or towels and respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact. Do not share potentially contaminated items, such as bed linens, clothing, towels, wash clothes, drinking glasses, or eating utensils. The monkeypox incubation period is about 12 days.
There are vaccines available to help to protect against monkeypox when given before or shortly after an exposure. JYNNEOS and ACAM2000 are two vaccines currently available in the United States. At this time, the federal government has allocated a limited number of JYNNEOS vaccine doses to Californians. Those considered at high risk are eligible for a vaccine and should not delay vaccination (pre-exposure prophylaxis). Those directly exposed to a lab-confirmed case can also receive a vaccine if given shortly after exposure (post-exposure prophylaxis).
If you have a new or an unexplained rash or other symptoms, seek medical care for further testing and evaluation. Wear a mask and tell your healthcare provider of your current symptoms for possible monkeypox or visit a local health clinic.
For more information, please see the CDPH Monkeypox webpage