Santa Clara County is investigating its first suspected case of monkeypox, health officials said Thursday.
The case is tied to a person who recently traveled internationally, according to the Santa Clara County Public Health Department. CDC is also investigating and working to confirm the case through further testing.
Dr. Monika Roy, the county's communicable disease controller and assistant health officer released the following statement:
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“Today we are announcing the first probable case of monkeypox infection in a Santa Clara County resident who likely became infected during international travel. We encourage medical providers be on the lookout for monkeypox infections, which develop with a characteristic rash. Gay and bisexual men are disproportionately affected by this virus in our region, and we stand together with these communities to support residents in protecting themselves and taking care of their health.”
Health officials said that the risk to the general public from the virus is currently low as the known cause of spread is prolonged contact and bodily fluids.
Monkeypox is a rare but potentially serious viral illness, usually found in west and central Africa. It was first discovered in monkeys in the late 1950's.
More than a decade later, it spread to humans. Common symptoms include fever, aches and a distinctive rash all over the body.
Santa Clara County health officials are expected to provide further updates on its probably monkeypox case at a 4 p.m. media briefing. The news conference will be livestreamed on the county's YouTube and Facebook pages.