The Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Public Health Branch today confirmed the first case of monkeypox in a Humboldt County resident.
This marks the first confirmed case of the infection in the county. Currently, the sick person is doing well, isolating at home and appears to have no close contacts locally.
Monkeypox is a viral infection that is spread through close personal contact, including skin-to-skin contact, kissing, and sexual intercourse. Symptoms of monkeypox include:
Muscle aches and backaches
swollen lymph nodes
Sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough.
It can also include a rash located on or near the genitals or anus, as well as other areas such as the hands, feet, chest, face, or mouth. The rash may look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy. The rash will usually go through several stages, including scabbing before it heals, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus, which is in the same family as smallpox but is less severe. The monkeypox virus is transmitted to humans through infected humans, animals, and materials contaminated with the virus. The current outbreak has primarily affected gay and bisexual men and men who have sex with men. Although the risk to the general US population is low, the following tips can help you stay safe:
Practice good hand hygiene
Always talk to your intimate partner(s) about a recent illness, and watch out for new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the mouth, genitals, anus and hands.
Avoid intimate contact, including sex, with people who have symptoms such as sores or rashes.
Avoid contact with infected animals and materials containing the virus.
Wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) such as a mask, gown, and gloves when caring for people with symptoms.
Infected people should isolate themselves until their symptoms, including the rash, are completely gone.
The DHHS Department of Public Health received an allocation of 20 monkeypox vaccines earlier this month. About a quarter of the allocation will be used to vaccinate Humboldt and Del Norte County staff, who will be in charge of vaccinating community members. Additional vaccines are available in the event of an outbreak. Staff have also been working closely with the California Department of Public Health and were able to place an order earlier this week for more vaccine. They are expected to arrive soon.
In addition, a small supply of vaccine has been sent to Public Health for laboratory personnel who will test monkeypox samples in the laboratory.
Public Health also recently received more than 400 doses of an antiviral drug that would be available for people with serious complications.
In addition, people at high risk for severe monkeypox who are immunocompromised, age 8 or younger, pregnant or breastfeeding, or have a history of skin disease may also be eligible for the drug.
Humboldt County Health Officer Dr. Candy Stockton said Public Health staff are fully equipped to respond to this case. “The experience learned in more than two years of responding to COVID-19 has given staff a lot of practice mobilizing quickly to help administer vaccines and prepare people with the right medications.”
Dr Stockton added: “There is a significant difference between how monkeypox and COVID spread. Monkeypox cases will not cause widespread closure of schools and businesses in our community.”
While monkeypox is endemic in many countries in West and Central Africa, recent cases of monkeypox have been reported in non-endemic countries, including the US, Canada, and the UK, as well as in other parts of Europe. and Australia.
To date, there are just over 7,100 cases of monkeypox in the US, including more than 825 cases in California. On Thursday, the US federal government declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency.
If you experience symptoms or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive for monkeypox, contact your health care provider. If you don’t have a provider, call Public Health at 707-445-6200.
For more information on prevention steps, visit the CDC at