The first case of monkeypox has been confirmed in Santa Barbara County.
The case involves a local adult who was exposed to monkeypox outside of the county, according to the county Public Health Department.
He will remain in isolation until symptoms have resolved, the health department department.
Public Health has completed contact tracing with this person to identify anyone who may have had close contact with them. Those people are being monitored for symptoms, and appropriate public health interventions are being taken, according to the health department.
The department reported that risk to the public remains low.
“Public health nurses have been working closely with the resident who is currently recovering at home in isolation,” Paige Batson, community health deputy director, said in a news release.
“It remains important for all community members to stay apprised of the evolving situation and take steps to protect themselves, especially in prolonged, close-contact encounters,” she said.
Monkeypox can spread from person-to-person through direct contact with an infectious rash, scabs or body fluids. It can also be spread during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling or sex, the health department noted.
Monkeypox can also be spread by touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids. And pregnant women can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta.
Symptoms of monkeypox usually begin one to two weeks after infection. The Public Health Department said symptoms can include fever, headache/muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough) and a rash that can look like pimples. Symptoms also include blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, such as hands, feet, chest, genitals or anus.
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely.
On Monday, Gov. Gavin Newsom proclaimed a state of emergency to support statewide response to monkeypox. This response allows for greater coordination and access to resources for all California counties.
Access to vaccines remains critically low and reserved for identified close contacts and individuals with certain risk factors, such as attending an event with a known monkeypox exposure, according to the health department.
For up-to-date information, see www.countyofsb.org/3404/monkeypox.