Sac County detects another probable monkeypox case, 8th in past month

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Health officials in Sacramento County have discovered another probable case of monkeypox, for a total of eight likely or confirmed infections in less than a month.

A tracker on the local health office website showed the tally at eight as of Tuesday morning, up from seven last Friday.

The eighth case, like the sixth and seventh, was linked to domestic travel within the United States, county health spokeswoman Samantha Mott said in an emailed response.

The county disclosed its first local monkeypox case May 24 in a resident who recently traveled internationally, followed by four additional cases identified via contact tracing.

Then, last Thursday, the county announced two new probable cases that were unrelated to the previous five and were instead linked to domestic travel.

The pair of infections marked the first two disclosed by the county in more than a week.

At least the first five local cases have been lab-confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as monkeypox, according to the county.

The eighth case was detected late last week, and the specimen has been sent to the CDC for confirmation, Mott said Tuesday morning.

County health officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye has said demographic details about those who have been infected because the count remains small and confidentiality must be maintained. Kasirye earlier this month said the contact tracing process “starts over” with each new positive case.

Due to the incubation period for monkeypox, she said it would be “at least three weeks of no additional cases” before the local health office can close its investigation.

The California Department of Public Health as of Thursday afternoon reported 21 total probable or confirmed cases statewide. Monkeypox has been detected in Alameda, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles counties, according to local health officials.

Spread of monkeypox is linked to prolonged, skin-to-skin exposure, according to experts. Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.

The patient typically develops a rash, often beginning on the face and spreading to other parts of the body, normally about one to three days after fever. The incubation period is typically one to two weeks but can range up to three weeks, and the illness typically lasts two to four weeks, according to the county news release.

Doctors and public health officials urge residents to practice safe sex. These practices may include abstaining from sex, practicing monogamy and using condoms during sex to limit exposure to the virus.

CDC data updated Friday listed 113 total cases across 20 U.S. states plus D.C., an increase from 84 reported last Wednesday.

The CDC reported California with the most at 24 cases, followed by New York with 21, Illinois with 15 and Florida with 10. More than 2,000 cases have been confirmed globally across more than three dozen countries, according to the CDC.

By Michael McGough

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