CENTRAL COAST, Calif. – Hospitals and public health officials are preparing for the monkeypox virus.
“It's likely only a matter of time before cases are confirmed locally,” said San Luis Obispo County Public Health Officer Tom Cuddy.
Local counties are preparing for the monkeypox virus, and in Ventura county, one case is already reported.
“The health care provider is hopefully informed about the possibility that monkeypox is going around, so that provider does the appropriate testing,” said Ventura County Public Health Officer Robert Levin.
Contact tracing is now underway to see if anyone else may be at risk of catching the virus from the infected patient.
Monkeypox can be treated with a vaccine, but San Luis Obispo County only received 20 doses.
“We expect to see a smaller allocation in about a month, followed by a third allocation this fall.”
Monkeypox is passed through close personal contact.
Anyone can get it, but doctors and nurses have noticed the vast majority are coming from the LGBTQ+ community.
“People with monkeypox will get a rash, some people developed a rash before or without flu-like symptoms,” said Cuddy. “So monkeypox symptoms usually start within three weeks of exposure to the virus.”
In Santa Barbara County, Lompoc Valley Medical Center CEO Steve Popkin says doctors and nurses are prepared just in case.
"If there are suspected symptoms that are suspicious, then they would be swabbed,” said Popkin. “Patients typically would be swabbed. Then those swabs would be sent to a testing facility and then we would have the results and status of that time.”