STOCKTON — Six San Joaquin County residents have confirmed as being infected with monkeypox as of Tuesday.
The San Joaquin County Public Health Services (SJCPHS) reported none have required hospitalization, and all have recovered or are recovering while isolating at home.
Monkeypox is a viral infection that is primarily spread through close contact via direct exposure to infectious sores, scabs, or body fluid.
It can also be spread through touching materials that have been used by a person with monkeypox, and via respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact. Symptoms of monkeypox may include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.
Within 1 to 3 days, most people will develop a rash that can look like pimples or blisters. These may appear anywhere on the body, including the face, hands, chest, feet, and genitals, or they may be limited to one part of the body. The illness can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed, scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed, which can take 2−4 weeks.
Most cases of monkeypox resolve on their own and hospitalization is rarely needed. There have been no deaths due to monkeypox in the United States. The rising cases in the county, state and nationwide should serve as a reminder to the San Joaquin residents that this virus continues to spread.
Therefore, they should take precautionary measures to protect yourself:.
*Talk to close contacts and sexual partners about their health and any recent sores or rashes.
*Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
*Avoid close skin-to-skin contact such as through kissing, hugging, cuddling, or sex with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
*Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
*Cover exposed skin in crowded indoor spaces.
*Do not handle or share bedding, towels or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
*Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
*Use appropriate personal protective equipment when caring for others with symptoms, including masks, gowns, and gloves.
Ways you can protect others include:
*Stay home if you are feeling sick or having any symptoms of monkeypox.
*Avoid gatherings and crowded places.
*Contact a health care provider for an evaluation as soon as possible.
*Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed.
*Inform sex partners about any symptoms you are experiencing.
*Cover the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing.
*Wear a well-fitted mask.
*Do not take care of pets. Animals can be infected with monkeypox and can spread the virus to other people.
*If you are contacted by public health officials, answer their confidential questions to help protect others who may have been exposed.
Supplies of the Jynneos vaccine have been limited. SJCPHS has been offering vaccines to close contacts of confirmed cases.
As more vaccine becomes available, they will be able to offer pre-exposure prophylaxis to priority groups that are at risk of exposure and at risk for more severe outcomes. Information regarding vaccination opportunities will be posted the department’s website at sjcphs.org