Sacramento County health officials said Friday they've identified a second possible case of monkeypox, related to an initial one discovered earlier this week.
On Tuesday the county announced a suspected case of monkeypox, later confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. That patient had recently traveled to Europe, where a rare outbreak of the disease has led to more than 200 infections in 20 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
On Friday, officials said they had identified another suspected case through contact tracing. Both patients are isolating at home and not around other people. This new case has been sent to the CDC for confirmation testing.
“This case is a close contact of the initial patient,” Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said in a press release. “The public health investigation is on-going and additional contact tracing will be conducted.”
Kasirye said the risk to the general public remains low.
What is monkeypox?
Monkeypox is a disease that causes fever, rash and swollen lymph nodes. The lesions are similar to those caused by smallpox.
Despite the name monkeypox, it doesn't come from monkeys. The disease was first discovered in 1958 in colonies of monkeys kept for research, which led to the name.
Unlike COVID-19, monkeypox does not spread through the air, but only through "close contact with lesions, body fluids, respiratory droplets and contaminated materials such as bedding," according to the WHO. There is a vaccine available for monkeypox.
"There is no evidence, to date, that person-to-person transmission alone can sustain monkeypox infections in the human population," a WHO factsheet says.
While the disease most often occurs in central and western Africa, cases and outbreaks have occurred throughout the world, including one in the midwestern U.S. in 2003.
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