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Saturday, August 6, 2022

Public Health: 1st probable case of monkeypox detected in Kern | News

The first probable case of monkeypox has been identified in a Kern County resident, the Kern County Public Health Services Department announced Saturday.

The department did not reveal details about the person, such as age, gender or city or town of residence.

“We encourage our community to stay alert about emerging public health threats like monkeypox; however, currently the risk to the general public is low,” Brynn Carrigan, director of Kern County Public Health, said in the news release. “The case is in isolation recovering at home. We are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this case, identifying close contacts and notifying them of their potential exposure.”

The California Department of Public Health reports there are 141 cases in the state, while as of Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 791 cases identified in 37 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rice.

Monkeypox can be extremely painful, but no deaths have been reported in the United States, Public Health noted in its Saturday news release.

Kern Public Health said monkeypox, which is rare, is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It can be spread from infected humans, animals and materials contaminated with the virus, especially through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids and through touching contaminated items. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face or intimate contact.

Symptoms can include: A rash that may look like pimples or blisters, fever, swollen lymph nodes, general body aches, or fatigue. People could have some or all symptoms, but most people with the virus have the rash. It can be passed to others from the time symptoms start until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed, which can take several weeks.

Anyone who believes they were exposed should see a healthcare provider, Kern Public Health said.

Kern Public Health listed these tips to reduce the spread of monkeypox:

• Avoid close contact with people with symptoms like sores or rashes

• Practice good hand hygiene

• Use personal protective equipment when caring for others with symptoms

• Avoid contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus

• Avoid contact with infected animals

• Stay home if you are sick or have symptoms

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