Los Angeles County officials have reported limited local transmission of monkeypox, with some recent cases involving people attending large events here and infecting people who have not traveled out of state.
“There have been some what we call ‘community broadcasts.’ That means it’s not from travelers or people who went somewhere else and contracted monkeypox somewhere else. In fact, they got monkeypox here in LA County because they were contracted by someone else here in LA County who had monkeypox,” Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at this week’s board meeting.
In all, there were 30 suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox in LA County as of Thursday. As of last week, no one in the county had been hospitalized or died from the disease.
Meanwhile, the geographic impact of the monkeypox outbreak continues to widen.
Orange County reported its first suspected case Wednesday. Public health officials in Riverside and Santa Clara counties did the same last week.
Here’s what you need to know about the disease and how it spreads:
Where does monkeypox spread in LA County?
“The majority of people who have been diagnosed with monkeypox here in LA County have been people who have attended two very large parties,” Ferrer said this week. “That’s why we addressed the participants of these events very specifically.”
In humans, monkeypox can be transmitted through prolonged skin contact with someone who has an active rash. In some cases in the current outbreak in the early stages of the disease, the rash has been found in the genital area and in or around the anus.
Health authorities have observed that some of the recent cases have been in men who have had sex with men.
But officials have stressed that anyone can get or transmit monkeypox, including family and friends who care for the sick. The virus can also be transmitted through shared bedding and clothing. It’s also possible that it can be spread by kissing and breathing at close range.
The primary route of transmission is through virus-filled lesions on the skin, which may be filled with infectious pus. It is plausible that a person with no lesions on the skin could be contagious, e.g. B. if there is a lesion in her throat or mouth and she can breathe the virus out to people.
Monkeypox isn’t nearly as contagious as the coronavirus and measles, which can hang in still air in a room for more than an hour.
What can you do if you have been exposed to monkeypox?
Ferrer said LA County health officials are arranging opportunities for people exposed to the monkeypox virus to get vaccinated against the disease in hopes of avoiding infection.
Supplies of monkeypox vaccine are limited. County health officials are offering the Jynneos vaccine to reach people at higher risk.
What are authorities doing to expand access to the vaccine?
The Biden administration said Tuesday federal officials aim to “expand vaccination for vulnerable individuals and make testing more convenient for health care providers and patients across the country.”
The US Department of Health and Human Services has already provided more than 9,000 doses of vaccine; The government said on Tuesday it would “allocate 296,000 doses over the coming weeks, of which 56,000 will be allocated immediately”.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “began shipping tests to five commercial laboratory companies last week, including some of the country’s largest reference laboratories, to further increase testing capacity and access for monkeypox,” the administration said.
What does the monkeypox rash look like in the current outbreak?
A freelance video producer and editor, Matt Ford, wrote a story published on BuzzFeed outlining his exposure to and infection with monkeypox, and included photos of the rash. He said a friend had tested positive for monkeypox and contacted him on June 17 to say he may have come into contact through skin contact.
“Indeed, I checked for stains and noticed a few lesions in the underwear area,” Ford wrote. “The next day I developed severe flu-like symptoms: fever, chills, night sweats, cough, sore throat, and swollen lymph nodes. That would take about a week.”
Ford wrote that on June 20 he went to the doctor, got tested and the results were sent to the LA County Department of Public Health. The lesions “in the underwear area became more intense and quite painful.” The lesions spread to his face and other parts of his body and became so painful that he was prescribed pain medication.
https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-07-01/monkeypox-spread-at-two-large-parties-in-l-a-county Monkeypox spread at two large parties in L.A. County, officials say