Los Angeles County Identifies Two Additional Probable Cases of Monkeypox

Note: Future updates on additional probable and confirmed monkeypox cases will be provided on the Public Health Monkeypox webpage by 2 p.m. as cases are identified. No additional press releases announcing monkeypox cases will be distributed.

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health has identified two additional probable cases of monkeypox infection in Los Angeles County. This brings the total number of cases to 4 in LA County.

Both new cases are adult residents with a history of recent travel. They are symptomatic but doing well and isolating away from others.

Public Health is continuing to investigate and conduct contact tracing and post-exposure prevention for close contacts.

The risk of monkeypox in the general population remains very low.

For more information, please visit: http://www.ph.lacounty.gov/media/Monkeypox/

About Monkeypox:

Monkeypox is a rare disease caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It is usually found in Central and West Africa and does not occur naturally in the US. However, multiple cases of monkeypox have recently been reported in several countries that don’t normally report monkeypox, including the United States.

Monkeypox is spread when a person comes into contact with an animal or human with the virus or through contact with materials (like clothing or linens) used by the infected person or prolonged exposure to respiratory droplets. The virus typically enters the body through broken skin, respiratory droplets, or the mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth). Because of this, transmission may also occur during sex through skin-to-skin and other intimate contact.

Early signs may include fever, malaise (a general feeling of discomfort), headache, swollen lymph nodes, and sometimes cough or sore throat. Other symptoms include muscle aches, backache, chills, and exhaustion, followed by a rash that typically begins on the face and spreads to other parts of the body. Infections can last two to four weeks. And some just develop a rash with or without swollen lymph nodes, which can occur on the genitals.

For more information on monkeypox, please see our FAQs: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/docs/MonkeypoxFAQ.pdf

What people should do:

Steps to help prevent monkeypox include:

  • Avoid contact with materials, like bedding and clothing, that has been in contact with a sick animal or person infected with this virus
  • Avoid contact with people who are or may be sick with the virus
  • Avoid contact with animals that could have the virus (such as animals that are sick or that have been found dead)
  • Wash hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with infected animals or humans.

There is no specific treatment approved for this virus, but medication can be given to ease the symptoms. However, there is a vaccine that can be used, under certain circumstances, to prevent monkeypox in people based on their level of exposure to this virus.

For any questions about monkeypox, Public Health recommends that you speak to your primary care provider. If you do not have a regular provider, call 2-1-1 for assistance. In addition, people without a regular provider that have developed a rash in the genital or perianal area, can access services at Public Health’s sexual health clinics. Please find a list of Public Health Centers that offer sexual health services here.

What healthcare providers should do:

  • Monkeypox infection should be considered for patients presenting with skin lesions, especially for those with a history of recent travel to an area with confirmed monkeypox cases. If lesions are characteristic for monkeypox, monkeypox should be considered even in the absence of known travel.
  • Those who have known close personal contact with people with monkeypox could potentially also be at risk for the disease.
  • Take note that some patients have had genital lesions and the rash may be hard to distinguish from syphilis, herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection, chancroid, varicella zoster, and other more common infections.
  • Isolate any patients suspected of having monkeypox in a single-person room, and ensure staff understand the importance of wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (gown, gloves, eye protection, and respirator) and that they wear it each time they are near suspected cases.
  • Use standard cleaning/disinfectants in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Report all suspected monkeypox cases to Public Health immediately.
  • For healthcare professionals please refer to the following resource for consult and reporting: http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/clinicians/report/