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Santa Barbara County Public Health confirms first case of Monkeypox

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. – The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department reported the county's first case of Monkeypox in a local adult on Wednesday, though officials said local risk levels remain low.

The adult had exposure to the virus outside of the county and will remain in isolation until the symptoms have resolved, said Public Health spokeswoman Jackie Ruiz.

The Public Health Department did not specify what area of the county the infected person lives.

“Public health nurses have been working closely with the resident who is currently recovering at home in isolation,” said Community Health Deputy Director, Paige Batson. “It remains important for all community members to stay apprised of the evolving situation and take steps to protect themselves, especially in prolonged, close-contact encounters.”

The Public Health Department has completed contact tracing with the person in order to identify any close contacts. The people identified in contact tracing are being monitored for symptoms, Ruiz said.

Monkeypox can spread in different ways from person-to-person:

  • Direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
  • Respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
  • Touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
  • Pregnant people can spread the virus to their fetus through the placenta

Symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, respiratory symptoms, and a rash that can look like pimples or blisters on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body.

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a statewide state of emergency for the virus on Monday.

Article Topic Follows: Santa Barbara - South County
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Jade Martinez-Pogue

Jade Martinez-Pogue is the Assignment Editor and web journalist at News Channel 3-12. To learn more about Jade, click here

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