First Probable Monkeypox Case in Riverside County

Carmela Karcher

Monkeypox has made its way into Riverside County.

While health officials were anticipating this to happen, they stress the risk of transmission is very low.

“This is very different from how we’ve thought about COVID,” Dr. Geoffrey Leung, Public Health Official for Riverside County, said. “Monkeypox, in general, is a self limited infection. It’s very rare that people will have serious complications.”

The case was discovered in eastern Riverside County from a man described only as less than 60 years old.

Health officials say the man is currently undergoing treatment but does not need to be hospitalized. 

But Dr. Leung said it doesn’t affect any specific age group or population.

“In general, we would say that it has more to do with behavior than age,” he explained. “If people are in really close physical contact with lots of other people, especially if they have many partners, they might be at a greater risk. We would say the highest likelihood of transmission comes when you have skin to skin contact.”

According to the CDC, monkeypox can also be transmitted through:

  • Intimate contact
  • Living in a house and sharing a bed with someone who has the virus
  • Sharing towels or unwashed clothing
  • Respiratory secretions through prolonged face-to-face interactions

 

Monkeypox is not spread through:

  • Casual conversations
  • Walking by someone with monkeypox
  • Touching items like doorknobs.

Because of this potential case, Dr. Leung is asking the community to know what monkeypox looks like and be aware of symptoms.

“Things that we’re looking for are new rashes or lesions or eruptions on the skin and sometimes that can be accompanied by fever or fatigue or swollen lymph nodes,” Dr. Leung shared. “It’s not a new virus, it’s been around for a long time. Monkeypox is very different from HIV. We have ways to contain it and we don’t think that it presents a significant risk to the general public, but we do want people to be aware of it so that if they do have symptoms that may be consistent with it, that they seek care and that they keep the people around them safe.”

Dr. Leung said people usually start showing symptoms somewhere between day one to three.

Since it is getting warmer and more people will be gathering, especially out by the pool, he said there hasn’t been any reported cases where people transmitted the virus who shared a pool.

Based on the steady rise of cases, health officials say they wouldn’t be surprised to see more cases overtime.

The CDC will have the final say to confirm whether or not the case is authentic.

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