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First case of monkeypox reported in Santa Barbara County

Posted at 4:15 PM, Aug 03, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-03 19:15:51-04

The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department is reporting the first confirmed case of monkeypox in a local adult.

Health officials say the resident was exposed outside of the county and will remain in isolation until symptoms have resolved.

Public Health reportedly completed contact tracing to identify anyone who may have had close contact with this person. Those people are being monitored for symptoms and "appropriate public health interventions are being taken."

“Public health nurses have been working closely with the resident who is currently recovering at home in isolation,” said Paige Batson, Santa Barbara County Community Health Deputy Director. “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.”

Health officials say the risk to the public remains low.

They say 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:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle aches and backache
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Chills
  • Exhaustion
  • 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.