Riverside County reported its first probable case of monkeypox this week, as the number of confirmed cases continues to grow statewide.
Health officials received positive test results from a man in the eastern part of the county on Tuesday, said Jose Arballo Jr., a spokesperson for the Riverside University Health System-Public Health.
The man, who is under 60, presented to a clinic with symptoms and was tested, Arballo said. He did not require hospitalization and was well enough to recover at home.
Officials sent test results to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and were awaiting confirmation.
“Given that there have been other probable cases in the area, it’s no surprise that we have one in Riverside County,” said county public health officer Geoffrey Leung.
Since the first suspected case of monkeypox was reported in Los Angeles County earlier this month, along with cases in San Francisco and San Diego, the number of cases has continued to grow across the state.
There have been 39 suspected and confirmed cases of monkeypox in California, according to the latest count from the state Department of Public Health. Two weeks ago, there were eight cases in the state and 40 in the United States.
The national number has since risen to 156, according to the CDC.
Even so, the CDC said the threat of monkeypox to the general population in the United States is low because it doesn’t spread easily between people without close contact. It is usually spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact with someone with active rashes. Unlike COVID-19, airborne spread is not a primary source of monkeypox transmission.
Most cases of monkeypox known to the CDC in the United States involve people who have recently traveled or had close contact with an infected person.
Riverside County officials were still working to trace the man’s recent contacts and determine if he had traveled recently, Arballo said.
Officials have continued to emphasize awareness of the symptoms of monkeypox, such as a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that often first appears in the genital area. Other symptoms include fever, headache, muscle and back pain, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion, the CDC said.
Health officials say they hope to contain the monkeypox outbreak, but say there may already be community spread of the virus.
The specific variant of monkeypox that has been found in the majority of cases in the United States has been linked to the variant that appeared in Europe, CDC officials had previously said.
Elsewhere in the world, the United Kingdom has reported the highest number of cases with almost 800, while Germany and Spain have more than 500. France and Portugal each have more than 300 and the Canada at least 200 cases.
As the number of global cases topped 3,200, the World Health Organization on Thursday convened an emergency committee to consider declaring the ongoing monkeypox outbreak a global emergency.
It would mean the UN health agency considers the outbreak an “extraordinary event” and the disease risks spreading across even more borders. It would also give monkeypox the same distinction as the COVID-19 pandemic and the ongoing effort to eradicate poliomyelitis.
Although Western countries such as the United States have been quick to respond and stop cases as they emerge in recent weeks, countries in Africa have experienced outbreaks of monkeypox for decades, a fact that some experts have cited as examples of inequity. in the distribution of vaccines.
The WHO is trying to address this inequity in access with a vaccine sharing program.
Los Angeles Times