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First 'likely' case of monkeypox found in California

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The Sacramento County Division of Public Health announced Tuesday that public health officials are investigating a “likely” case of the monkeypox virus in a traveler who recently came from Europe.

The health department said more testing is required but that the case is probable based on symptoms.

“This case appears to be related to recent travel to Europe,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said in a statement, according to Fox 11. “Public Health is working with CDPH to conduct contact tracing, and risk to the general public is extremely low.”

The patient is resting at home and not in contact with others.

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If confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the California Department of Public Health, it would be the first known case of the virus in California.

An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox shows the arms and torso of a patient with skin lesions due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. 

An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox shows the arms and torso of a patient with skin lesions due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. 
(CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS)

A person in Boston is the only person with a confirmed case of monkeypox in the U.S., though other suspected cases have been reported in Florida and New York.

Officials in Broward County, Florida, announced Sunday they are investigating a “presumptive” case of monkeypox that appears to be related to international travel and were contacting those who had been in contact with the individual, who was placed in isolation after traveling from Europe.

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The virus originates in wild animals but occasionally transfers to humans, and most cases have been confined to central and west Africa.

A section of skin tissue, harvested from a lesion on the skin of a monkey, that had been infected with monkeypox virus, is seen at 50X magnification on day four of rash development in 1968. 

A section of skin tissue, harvested from a lesion on the skin of a monkey, that had been infected with monkeypox virus, is seen at 50X magnification on day four of rash development in 1968. 
(CDC/Handout via REUTERS)

Symptoms of the virus – which is from the same family of viruses as smallpox – include fever, chills, rash and aches, before lesions develop.

MONKEYPOX LIKELY SPREAD BY SEX AT 2 RAVES IN EUROPE: EXPERT

The majority of patients recover within several weeks without requiring hospitalization.

CDC officials are warning that while anyone can be infected with the monkeypox virus, there is an increased risk in gay and bisexual men.

An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1996 to 1997, shows the hands of a patient with a rash due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. 

An image created during an investigation into an outbreak of monkeypox, which took place in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), 1996 to 1997, shows the hands of a patient with a rash due to monkeypox, in this undated image obtained by Reuters on May 18, 2022. 
(CDC/Brian W.J. Mahy/Handout via REUTERS)

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“Awareness of this reality is critical to empowering people to make informed decisions about their personal health and the health of their community,” CDC epidemiologist Dr. John Brooks said in a Monday telebriefing.

Anyone who has a rash or lesions in the genital and perianal regions should be fully evaluated. 

Fox News’ Julia Musto and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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