L.A. County records 2nd suspected monkeypox case

Los Angeles County has reported its second suspected case of monkeypox.

The health ministry said Wednesday the latest case was in an adult who had recently travelled. “They are symptomatic but doing well and isolating from others,” officials said in a statement.

This brings the total number of confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox in California to eight as of Wednesday afternoon.

“The risk of monkeypox in the general population remains very low,” county health officials said in a statement. According to the California Department of Health and Human Services, Sacramento County has reported five confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox, while San Francisco reported one suspected case on Friday.

Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said last week that there is no indication there will be a massive outbreak of monkeypox locally, but added that “we have to be prepared for more cases.” to see”.

LA County reported its first suspected case last week. Both LA County cases occurred in people who had recently traveled; They were both isolated.

“While most cases will resolve on their own, in rare cases, monkeypox can be serious and we want to prevent further spread in the community,” said Dr. Susan Philip, Health Officer in San Francisco.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there were 40 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox nationwide, most in New York (nine); California (eight); Florida (four); Colorado and Illinois (three each); and Utah and the District of Columbia (two each).

In the current outbreak, 1,200 confirmed and suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in 29 countries, mostly in Europe and North America. Great Britain has reported more than 300 of them; Spain and Portugal, about 200 each; and Germany and Canada, more than 100 each.

Officials said it’s crucial that people are aware of the symptoms and healthcare providers are alert to new cases, because the telltale rash – which has first appeared on the genital area in some recent cases – can sometimes appear similar to more common sexually transmitted infections. Health officials say they hope to contain the monkeypox outbreak but say it’s possible the virus is already spreading in the community.

The specific monkeypox variant found in most U.S. cases has been linked to the variant in Europe, said Capt. Jennifer McQuiston, deputy director of the Division of Pathogens and Serious Consequence Pathology at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, at a press conference last week.

Nationally, most monkeypox cases known to the CDC involve people who have recently traveled or have been in close contact with someone who has been infected. But at least one of the recent cases in the US involves someone who doesn’t know how he or she was exposed to the virus, McQuiston said.

“This could happen in other parts of the United States — there could be community-level transmission. And that’s why we really want to step up our surveillance efforts,” McQuiston said. “We really want to encourage doctors, if they see a rash and are concerned it might be monkeypox, to go ahead and test for it.”

Health officials have noted that early data shows a large number of current monkeypox cases occur in men who have sex with men; However, anyone can contract the virus, including medical workers and family members caring for the sick. According to McQuiston, a case recently occurred in a woman.

Monkeypox was first discovered in 1958 in monkey colonies maintained for scientific research. Most human cases of monkeypox have historically been identified in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, where the first human case was identified in 1970. The monkeypox virus occurs naturally in certain wild animals in this country; The CDC says rodents and monkeys can harbor the virus and infect humans.

For travelers worldwide, the CDC has issued a Level 2 Monkeypox Travel Advisory warning of monkeypox cases associated with the current outbreak on every continent except Antarctica.

The CDC urged world travelers to avoid close contact with sick people, including those with skin and genital lesions; avoid contact with wild animals, dead or alive, such as small mammals and non-human primates such as monkeys and apes; avoid eating game meat or using products derived from wild animals from Africa, such as creams, powders and lotions; avoid contact with contaminated material used by sick people, such as B. Clothing; and wear a mask, which can provide further protection from many diseases.

Health officials stressed that the threat is low because monkeypox isn’t nearly as contagious as other infectious diseases like COVID-19. Monkeypox can be transmitted between humans through close, prolonged skin-to-skin contact with someone who has an active rash and monkeypox skin sores. The virus can be spread through sexual and intimate contact, as well as shared bedding and clothing. It’s also possible that it can be spread by kissing and breathing at close range.

Monkeypox can also be transmitted from animals to humans through a bite or scratch, handling wildlife, or using products made by infected animals.

Airborne spread is not thought to be a major route for monkeypox transmission, as disease research has shown that individuals infected with monkeypox, who are likely to be contagious on an airplane flight, did not transmit the virus to other passengers.

Health officials and experts have tried to strike a balance in their warnings, noting that people are generally recovering from the disease while underscoring the urgency of containing the outbreak and identifying cases. They also warn that the skin lesions can be painful.

“It can be very painful and some patients have reported needing prescription pain medication to manage this pain. The wounds can also cause long-term scarring on the skin,” McQuiston said.

Traditionally, monkeypox is believed to begin with a fever and malaise, followed by a rash. But in some of the recent cases, the rash has appeared first. Other symptoms can include headaches, muscle aches, back pain, chills, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes. Rare complications are lesions in the eye that can endanger vision.

The monkeypox rash results in well-rounded skin lesions, and as they progress they turn into papules, which are raised areas of skin that can look like a pencil eraser, McQuiston said. They can then fill with a clear liquid that turns into pus.

The rash can resemble syphilis and herpes, which are far more common than monkeypox. McQuiston said it can be difficult to distinguish monkeypox from other diseases, so health care providers should be alert to potential cases and request a test if they suspect monkeypox. In some recent cases in Europe, people have been infected with monkeypox and a sexually transmitted disease at the same time.

“They should test for monkeypox even if they think they might have a positive test for another, more common” sexually transmitted infection, McQuiston said.

According to McQuiston, no deaths have been reported worldwide in the current monkeypox outbreak. Patients whose cases were reviewed by the CDC last week are either recovering or have already recovered, “and those who still have a rash are advised to stay home and keep away from other people until they are fully recovered.” have recovered.”

Full recovery occurs “when all wounds have caked, the scabs fall off and new healthy skin has formed,” McQuiston said. A person is no longer contagious when all scabs have fallen off.

The most recent monkeypox cases in the United States known to CDC officials have involved adults, McQuiston said, and most reported international travel in the 21 days before their symptoms began. It generally takes seven to 14 days for a person to develop symptoms after exposure to monkeypox, but it can take up to 21 days.

McQuiston said authorities are working hard to contain the outbreak.

“Our containment strategy is focused on identifying cases, identifying their contacts and ensuring they are offered a vaccine and that cases are isolated to prevent further spread,” McQuiston said.

The latest outbreak is worrying because cases of monkeypox are not typically found in the United States, officials said.

The only previous outbreak of monkeypox in the US occurred in 2003 and resulted in 71 confirmed or suspected cases – mostly in Wisconsin, Indiana and Illinois. Those infected had been exposed to prairie dogs, obtained from a pet dealer in a suburb of Chicago, that were housed near Gambian giant rats and Ghanaian dormouse.

Although monkeypox can be fatal in countries with poor health care, the 2003 US outbreak resulted in no deaths.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-06-08/l-a-county-records-2nd-suspected-monkeypox-case L.A. County records 2nd suspected monkeypox case

Alley Einstein

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