Monkeypox tests
Test tubes labelled “Monkeypox virus positive” are seen in this illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic

County health officials on Wednesday reported the first two likely cases of monkeypox in San Diego County.

The Health and Human Services Agency said the cases were unrelated and involved individuals who recently traveled internationally. Both individuals are not hospitalized and doing well.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have been contacted and asked to verify the diagnosis.

“The arrival of these probable cases in our region is not a surprise, but rather has been expected,” said Supervisor Nathan Fletcher. “Our public health leaders are confident there is very little risk of exposure to the majority of county residents.”

County Health Officer Wilma Wooten said her department has been prepared for possible cases, but emphasized that “the risk of monkeypox to the general population remains very low.”

Monkeypox is a viral infection that can spread through contact with body fluids, sores on the body of someone who has monkeypox, or shared items such as betting that have been contaminated with fluids from sores of a person with monkeypox.

Symptoms of monkeypox are similar to, but milder than, the signs and symptoms of smallpox. They include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion with a rash developing within one to three days after fever.

The majority of people who become infected with monkeypox have a mild illness that improves without treatment over two to four weeks.

Anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of monkeypox, including unusual rashes or lesions, should contact a healthcare provider immediately.



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Ellen Bullock