San Joaquin County Public Health Services stated on Tuesday, Aug. 2 that there have been six confirmed monkeypox cases in the county.

None have required hospitalization, and all have recovered or are recovering while isolating at home. Most cases of monkeypox resolve on their own and hospitalization is rarely needed. There have been no deaths due to monkeypox in the United States.

The update in the county came one day after Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide emergency due to monkeypox.

Monkeypox is a viral infection that is primarily spread through close contact via direct exposure to infectious sores, scabs, or body fluid. It can also be spread through touching materials that have been used by a person with monkeypox, and via respiratory droplets during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact. Symptoms of monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion. Within 1 to 3 days, most people will develop a rash that can look like pimples or blisters.

The illness can spread from the time symptoms start until the rash has fully healed, scabs have fallen off, and a fresh layer of skin has formed, which can take 2 to 4 weeks.

How to protect yourself

  • Talk to close contacts, including sexual partners, about their health and any recent sores or rashes.
  • Do not touch the rash or scabs of a person with monkeypox.
  • Avoid close skin-to-skin contact Ñ such as kissing, hugging, cuddling or sex Ñ with people who have a rash that looks like monkeypox.
  • Do not handle or share bedding, towels or clothing of a person with monkeypox.
  • Do not share eating utensils or cups with a person with monkeypox.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Cover exposed skin in crowded indoor spaces.
  • Use appropriate personal protective equipment when caring for others with symptoms, including masks, gowns, and gloves.

How to protect others

  • Stay home if you are feeling sick or having any symptoms of monkeypox. Avoid gatherings and crowded places.
  • Contact a health care provider for an evaluation as soon as possible.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed.
  • Inform sex partners about any symptoms you are experiencing.
  • Cover the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask.
  • Do not take care of pets. Animals can be infected with monkeypox and can spread the virus to other people.
  • If you are contacted by public health officials, answer their confidential questions to help protect others who may have been exposed.

For further information, contact San Joaquin County Public Health Services

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