The California Department of Public Health, working with Sacramento County Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is investigating its first suspected case of monkeypox infection in Sacramento County in a person who recently traveled abroad.
On May 21, 2022, California Public Health and Sacramento County began investigating the resident for possible monkeypox infection. They have tested preliminarily positive for an orthopox virus and confirmation for monkeypox is pending CDC testing.
The patient is isolating and California Public Health is working with county health officials and the CDC to ensure appropriate care and response, including contact tracing and post-exposure prevention for close contacts. The risk of monkeypox in the general population is very low.
Centers for Disease Control and California Public Health are urging healthcare providers in the U.S. to be alert for patients who have rash illnesses consistent with monkeypox, especially if they have traveled to an area where monkeypox has been reported, or have had close contact with a person suspected of having monkeypox. The Centers for Disease Control has warned of a potential increased risk of exposure for those who self-identify as men who have sex with men.
“California is reporting its first suspected case of monkeypox infection in Sacramento County in a person who recently traveled abroad. The patient is isolating, and the California Department of Public Health is working quickly with local and federal health officials to ensure appropriate care and response, including contact tracing and post-exposure prevention for close contacts. The risk of monkeypox in the general population is very low,” said California State Epidemiologist Dr. Erica Pan. “Because the disease is rare, health care providers may not be familiar with the presentation of monkeypox and the possibility of monkeypox transmission during intimate or sexual contact may not be well known. As such, CDPH is promoting awareness amongst healthcare providers and the public, including appropriate infection control for monkeypox cases in the healthcare setting.”
The California Public Health laboratory in Richmond is prepared to receive specimens from persons with suspected monkeypox to preliminarily test for the diagnosis. Additionally, the California Public Health, health care associated infection program is available to provide consultation on infection control to health care facilities.
California Public Health will share more information with the public on the monkeypox resource page as it becomes available.