Monkeypox reported in Sacramento; 1st known case in California

Monkeypox, A Member Of The Orthopox Family Of Viruses, Is An Infection Accidentally Transmitted To Humans Due To Its Similarity To The Smallpox Virus.(Photo By BSIP/UIG Via Getty Images)

The Sacramento County Division of Public Health on Tuesday said officials are investigating a case of monkeypox, where the person who got it just traveled to Europe. 

More testing still needs to be conducted, the health department said, but based on symptoms, it seems like it's a case of monkeypox. If it is, it would be the first known case in California. 

The patient is isolating at home and is not in contact with any other people, the department said. 

"This case appears to be related to recent travel to Europe," said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer. "Public Health is working with CDPH to conduct contact tracing, and risk to the general public is extremely low."

The person recently traveled to spots in Europe where cases of monkeypox have been confirmed.

Dr. David Heymann, who formerly headed WHO’s emergencies department, told The Associated Press this week that the leading theory to explain the spread of the disease was sexual transmission at raves held in Spain and Belgium. Monkeypox has not previously triggered widespread outbreaks beyond Africa, where it is endemic in animals.

To date, WHO has recorded more than 90 cases of monkeypox in a dozen countries including Canada, Spain, Israel, France, Switzerland, the U.S. and Australia.

U.S. health officials said Monday they knew of one confirmed case, in the state of Massachusetts, and four probable cases — two in Utah, one in Florida and one in New York City. All were men who had traveled outside the U.S.

Germany has four confirmed cases linked to exposure at "party events ... where sexual activity took place" in Spain’s Canary Islands and in Berlin, according to a government report to lawmakers obtained by the AP.

Madrid’s senior health official said Monday that the Spanish capital had 30 confirmed cases. Enrique Ruiz Escudero said authorities are investigating possible links between a recent Gay Pride event in the Canary Islands, which drew some 80,000 people, and cases at a Madrid sauna.

On Monday, Denmark announced its first case, Portugal revised its total upwards to 37, Italy reported one further infection and Britain added 37 more cases.

Symptoms of monkeypox include; fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes chills, and exhaustion. 

Within 1 to 3 days after the appearance of fever, the patient develops a rash, often beginning on the face then spreading to other parts of the body. 

The incubation period for monkeypox is usually 7−14 days but can range from 5−21 days. The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks.

The monkeypox cases so far have been mild, with no deaths reported.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.