The L.A. County Department of Public Health confirmed Thursday the first presumptive case of monkeypox infection in L.A. County and is awaiting final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Monkeypox is a viral infection that can spread through contact with body fluids, monkeypox sores, or shared items (such as clothing and bedding) that have been contaminated with fluids or sores of a person with monkeypox.
“The patient is an adult resident who recently traveled and had a known close contact to a case,” read an L.A. County Department of Public Health news release. “Although the patient is symptomatic, they are doing well and not hospitalized. They are isolated from others.”
Officials said in their statement that they are awaiting final confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and are continuing their investigation into the possible diagnosis.
“Most people with monkeypox have a mild illness that improves without treatment over two to four weeks,” officials said. “Treatment is supportive and focused on easing the symptoms of the illness. Monkeypox is contagious and can spread to others until scabs have fallen off and a new layer of skin has formed.”
People with monkeypox sometimes develop a flu-like illness with fever, fatigue and enlarged lymph nodes followed by a rash, officials said. In other instances, people just develop a rash with or without swollen lymph nodes, which can occur on the genitals. People usually develop monkeypox seven to 14 days (and up to 21 days) after being exposed.
People were requested to do the following if they are experiencing symptoms of monkeypox, particularly the characteristic rash or lesions:
- Visit a medical provider for an evaluation.
- Cover the area of the rash with clothing.
- Wear a mask.
- Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others.
Per the CDC, these steps are particularly recommended for anyone who reports contact with a confirmed or suspected monkeypox case, or recently traveled to an area where monkeypox cases have been reported. You can find a list of the countries where monkeypox has been reported on the CDC website.
For more information on monkeypox: publichealth.lacounty.gov/acd/docs/MonkeypoxFAQ.pdf.