By SDCN Editor
Los Angeles, CA–A second case of the presumed monkeypox infection has been reported in the Los Angeles area, public health officials said.
The infected person is an adult resident who has a history of recent travel. They are symptomatic but doing well and isolating themselves from others, according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
The first case of monkeypox infection in a Los Angeles county resident was confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
The person also recently traveled and had a known close contact with another probable case of monkeypox. Although the person is symptomatic, they are recovering, and not hospitalized. They also have been isolated from others, public health officials said.
The number of confirmed cases of monkeypox in California is currently at 8, according to the California Department of Public Health.
About 39 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with monkeypox virus. The virus belongs to the Orthopoxvirus genus in the family Poxviridae. The Orthopoxvirus genus also includes variola virus (which causes smallpox), vaccinia virus (used in the smallpox vaccine), and cowpox virus.
The virus was first discovered in 1958 when two outbreaks of a pox-like disease occurred in colonies of monkeys kept for research, hence the name ‘monkeypox.’ The first human case of monkeypox was recorded in 1970 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo during a period of intensified effort to eliminate smallpox. Since then, monkeypox has been reported in people in several other central and western African countries: Cameroon, Central African Republic, Cote d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of the Congo, and Sierra Leone. The majority of infections are in Democratic Republic of the Congo, according to the CDC.
Monkeypox cases in people have occurred outside of Africa linked to international travel or imported animals, including cases in the United States, as well as Israel, Singapore, and the United Kingdom.
The natural reservoir of monkeypox remains unknown. However, African rodents and primates may harbor the virus and infect people.
The CDC says anyone with a rash that looks like monkeypox should talk to their healthcare provider, even if they don’t think they had contact with someone who has monkeypox. People who may be at higher risk might include but are not limited to those who:
- Had contact with someone who had a rash that looks like monkeypox or someone who was diagnosed with confirmed or probable monkeypox
- Had skin-to-skin contact with someone in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity, this includes men who have sex with men who meet partners through an online website, digital application (“app”), or social event (e.g., a bar or party)
- Traveled outside the US to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where monkeypox activity has been ongoing
- Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that exists only in Africa or used a product derived from such animals (e.g., game meat, creams, lotions, powders, etc.)
The symptoms of monkeypox are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. Monkeypox begins with fever, headache, muscle aches, and exhaustion. The main difference between the symptoms of smallpox and monkeypox is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell (lymphadenopathy) while smallpox does not. The incubation period (time from infection to symptoms) for monkeypox is usually 7 to 14 days but can range from 5 to 21 days.
The illness begins with a fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion.
Within 1 to 3 days, or longer, after the appearance of fever, the individual develops a rash, often beginning on the face and then spreading to other parts of the body.
Lesions progress through the following stages before falling off.
The illness typically lasts for 2−4 weeks.