Los Angeles County Public Health officials announced the first presumptive cause of monkeypox infection with the county Thursday morning.
Though the case was labeled as presumptive, as officials await confirmation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, officials have launched an investigation and are conducting contract tracing to determine close contacts with the individual.
They learned that the person, an adult, had recently traveled and had close contact with another person who was a confirmed case.
Thus far, the person has shown symptoms of the infection, but has not required hospitalization. They are reportedly isolated from others.
California previously reported three other cases of monkeypox in Northern California, a few of the nearly 20 cases now reported across the United States.
Still, CDC officials maintain that “the risk of monkeypox in the general population remains very low,” due to its less infectious nature.
“We may see more cases associated with close contacts or with travel, and I think that is to be expected,” said Dr. Jonathan Grein, the Director of Hospital Epidemiology at Cedars-Sinai. “We do not expect to see anywhere close to the numbers of cases that we’re seeing with COVID. They are very different diseases.”
Monkeypox often causes symptoms like body aches and fever, as well as a rash that can spread across the human body. It is only spread through close, intimate or prolonged contact.
Doctors suggested the same steps they preached during the worst of the coronavirus pandemic — staying away from people who are sick, washing hands and wearing masks — to combat a potential monkeypox infection.
There is no known cure for monkeypox, but there are several treatments that can help with symptoms.