Napa County health officials announced Tuesday that they are investigating the county’s first probable case of monkeypox.
The county resident preliminarily tested positive after being exposed in an area that currently has an outbreak and is seeking medical care. The case was subsequently reported to the Napa County Public Health Department.
The county and the resident, who is currently isolating, are awaiting confirmation testing from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The county did not disclose the location of the monkeypox outbreak where the resident was exposed.
“This disease is not spread as easily as COVID-19. However, we do want people that have been exposed to look for symptoms and to seek medical attention immediately if they develop symptoms,” county Health Officer Dr. Karen Relucio said in a statement. “We also encourage medical providers to take extra caution during this time with patients that are being ruled out for monkeypox.”
Monkeypox is generally spread through skin-to-skin contact or bodily fluids via kissing, breathing at close range, sexual activity and sharing bedding or clothing. State and federal health officials have stressed that the virus is not airborne like COVID-19 or the flu.
Symptoms can include a rash or sores on the skin anywhere on a patient’s body. Contraction of the virus often begins with flu-like symptoms, with a rash or sores often appearing within one to three days.
Many of the cases confirmed globally have been among men who identify as gay or bisexual. However, health officials have stressed that the virus is not exclusive to men who are attracted to men, and anyone can contract monkeypox regardless of their sexual orientation.
Statewide, 434 probable and confirmed cases of monkeypox have been reported, 159 of which have been in reported in San Francisco alone.
Monkeypox cases have also been reported in Alameda, Santa Clara, Contra Costa, San Mateo, Monterey, Santa Cruz, Solano and Marin counties.
Napa County officials said that while they do have a small quantity of the Jynneos vaccine for smallpox and monkeypox, doses are being prioritized for those who are close contacts of an infected person or may have been exposed in an outbreak location.
Despite the recent rise in monkeypox cases across the state, Napa County health officials stressed that the risk of spreading the virus among the general public remains low.
Those who believe they have been exposed or have symptoms of the virus are urged to contact their health care provider or Napa County Public Health at (707) 253-4270.
Information about monkeypox can be found at https://www.countyofnapa.org/3340/Monkeypox.