Monday, October 2, 2023

Zero Monkeypox Cases in Mendocino County—Public Health Prepared to Contact Trace If Needed

The following is a press release issued by Mendocino County Public Health:

Colorized transmission electron micrograph of monkeypox particles (teal) found within an infected cell (brown), cultured in the laboratory. [Photograph from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases]

Public Health is ready to begin contact tracing if monkeypox arrives in Mendocino County. Currently, there are zero cases in Mendocino County.  

Here is what to do if you are exposed to someone with monkeypox: 

  1. Monitor your health: People who develop monkeypox often get flu-like symptoms  1-3 weeks after exposure followed by a rash. Isolate yourself from others and see your health care provider. 
  2. Get vaccinated. Right now, while the vaccine supply is scarce, it is being prioritized  for people after a high-or intermediate-risk exposure or who are at higher risk of  exposure. If you believe you are eligible for a vaccine, contact your provider and get the monkeypox vaccine as soon as possible (within 4 days of exposure) to help prevent an infection or (within 14 days) to make an infection less severe. 

If you have monkeypox, isolate at home away from others for the entire contagious period. Monkeypox spreads through direct contact with the rash and objects soiled from open lesions, like clothes and linens, and large droplets in face-to-face conversation. People with monkeypox are contagious from the time symptoms start until the rash has healed over completely. This whole process can take up to four weeks. The monkeypox rash can… 

  • Look like bumps, pimples, blisters, or scabs and goes through several stages before healing. Generally, the rash starts as red, flat spots that become bumps. Those bumps can then become filled with fluid which turns to pus. The bumps then crust into a scab. 
  • Be on or near the genitals, anus, mouth, hands, feet, chest, and/or face. • Spread over the body or be limited to one area with just a few blisters or bumps. • Be painful and/or itchy. 
  • In addition to the rash, people may develop flu-like symptoms. These can appear 1-4  days before the rash starts or after the rash starts. They include fever/chills, swollen  lymph nodes, exhaustion, muscle aches, and headache. 

If you have been exposed to someone with monkeypox or develop a rash as described above,  contact your health provider immediately. Treatment is available for severe cases. If you have questions about monkeypox, you can also get in touch with Public Health at 707-472-2759 or visit our monkeypox webpage.

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Matt LaFever
Matt LaFeverhttps://mendofever.com/
I like to think of myself as a reporter for the Average Joe. Journalism has become a craft defined largely by city dwellers on America's coasts. It’s time to take it back. I have been an Emerald Triangle resident since 2006 and this is year ten in Mendocino County. Please, email me at matthewplafever@gmail.com if you know a story that needs to be told.

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