The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is reporting two more confirmed cases of monkeypox, bringing the total number of cases in the county to three.
Public Health officials say the risk to the public remains low.
“This virus most commonly spreads through prolonged, direct physical contact with someone who is currently infectious. It is highly unlikely to spread through short interactions that do not involve physical contact," said Dr. Henning Ansorg, County Health Officer.
The affected patients are reportedly in isolation and health officials say they've completed contact tracing with these people to identify anyone who may have had close contact with them.
Monkeypox can spread from person to person through:
- 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 of monkeypox usually begin one to two weeks after infection. They can include:
- Muscle aches and backache
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Respiratory symptoms (e.g. sore throat, nasal congestion, or cough)
- A rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus
- The rash goes through different stages before healing completely.
Santa Barbara County health officials say they are working closely with the state to obtain more monkeypox vaccine and they expect to receive more doses soon for known close contacts of confirmed monkeypox cases and people with certain risk factors, such as people who attended an event where there was a known monkeypox exposure.
More information about monkeypox vaccinations and prevention is available on the health department's website.