County identifies third probable case of Monkeypox, pending CDC confirmation

SAN DIEGO (KUSI) – San Diego County’s Health and Human Services Agency Friday identified another probable case of hMPXV, also known as human monkeypox, bringing the region’s total probable case count to three.

All probable cases must be verified by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and that process can take several days. The two prior probable cases reported by the county on Wednesday have not yet been verified by the CDC.

HHSA officials said this most recent case has no connection or relation to the first two probable cases, but like the other two, the individual also recently traveled internationally. The person is in isolation and although symptomatic, is doing well and is not hospitalized.

“All three individuals with probable cases of hMPXV here in the region are doing well and are managing their symptoms in home isolation,” said Dr. Wilma J. Wooten, county public health officer. “Most individuals who become infected experience mild to moderate symptoms and the risk of contracting the virus remains very low for the general population.”

Since monkeypox is more common in African nations, its appearance in the United States and more than a dozen other countries has generated headlines, particularly among a populace still traumatized by the COVID-19 pandemic. But health officials insist COVID is far more infectious than monkeypox.

Health officials say the infection spreads through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores or shared items such as bedding or clothing that has been contaminated with fluids. It can also be transmitted through saliva and sexual contact. The virus is not known to linger in the air and is not transmitted during short periods of shared airspace.

Most people who develop monkeypox have only mild illness that goes away within two to four weeks without treatment. People with symptoms are urged to visit a medical provider, cover the rash area with clothing, wear a mask and avoid close or skin-to-skin contact with others.

Since May, monkeypox cases have been reported in several non-endemic countries, including the U.S. No deaths have been reported.

Going forward, the county will provide weekly updates on the monkeypox situation in the region on Fridays.

For more information on San Diego County’s response, go to www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/ human-monkeypox.html.

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