ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA – Today, Alameda County announced that a resident has tested positive for Orthopox and is suspected to be infected with the Monkeypox virus. The California Department of Public Health (CDPH) conducted testing for Orthopox and results from testing by the CDC would provide confirmation of Monkeypox infection.
The resident who tested positive had close contact with someone who recently also tested positive for Orthopox. Federal privacy law prevents us from sharing additional information.
While the number of probable/confirmed cases is growing in California (8) and the United States (40), the risk of monkeypox to the general population is low. Monkeypox spreads through direct, close contact with an infected person. The virus enters the body through broken skin (even if not visible), the respiratory tract, or mucous membranes (eyes, nose, or mouth) after skin or sexual contact, from bodily fluids, or contact with contaminated clothing or linens.
“Alameda County is prepared to respond to this and possible future cases,” said Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss. “Health officials are monitoring updates from the CDC and CDPH as the situation evolves.”
Residents should consider the risk factors associated with Monkeypox. Patients infected with the monkeypox virus may experience flu-like symptoms and a rash on their face, extremities, or genital area. While rare and, in most cases mild, some Monkeypox infections can lead to severe illness. Treatment and vaccines are available for people who are exposed.
“It is vital that a person who suspects they have Monkeypox or are experiencing symptoms contact their health care provider right away,” said Dr. Kavita Trivedi, Alameda County Communicable Disease Controller. “We are ready to receive more reports from health care providers, provide guidance, connect possible cases to testing, and contact trace.”
Residents can take steps to protect themselves from infection:
- Masks are required in indoor public settings in Alameda County. Wearing a well-fitted mask can also protect you from respiratory droplets that may carry the Monkeypox virus
- Keep hands clean with soap and water or alcohol-based hand rub
- Avoid sharing bedding, clothing, and food or drink with others
- Talk to close physical contacts about their general health like recent rashes or sores
- Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks
“After more than two years of the COVID-19 pandemic, we understand how weary residents are,” said Dr. Trivedi. “But this isn’t COVID, and we have the tools and knowledge necessary to protect ourselves and each other.