First Confirmed Case Of Monkeypox Virus In Long Beach

LONG BEACH, CA – The Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services announced its first presumptive case of monkeypox over the weekend on Sunday, July 16 in a press release. The infected person is identified as a Long Beach resident with no recent travel history or known infected contacts.

Symptoms of Monkeypox can include fever, headache, muscle ache and backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion officials say.

A rash that can look like pimples, or blisters, that appear on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus may also be a symptom according to the press release.

The virus may be spread by exposure to direct skin-to-skin contact or bodily fluids as well as prolonged respiratory face-to-face contact with an infected person, officials say.

Monkeypox has similar symptoms to smallpox however it is rarely fatal. Monkeypox symptoms such as a rash or blisters may go away within 2 to 4 weeks according to the press release. 

People who are exposed and are experiencing symptoms should get in contact with their healthcare provider who will help decide on further treatment officials say.

A vaccine has been approved by the FDA that may help lessen the symptoms of a recently infected monkeypox patient.

The JYNNEOS vaccine is available to specific groups of individuals and not to those who have tested positive for monkeypox, officials say.

Those specific groups are; 

  • Those who have been in close contact with a person who is confirmed positive. 
  • Patients with established care at specialty clinics (i.e., STD or HIV clinics) where there was a high risk of exposure to someone with monkeypox. 
  • Gay and bisexual men and transgender people with a diagnosis of rectal gonorrhea or early syphilis within the past three months and have a doctor’s referral or proof of a positive result

While some sources cite that Monkeypox is spread by men who have sex with other men the virus may be spread amongst anyone officials say.

Some tips to avoid possible infection are to communicate with sexual partners, and those in very close proximity about any symptoms, as well as safe sex practices officials say.

If people think they meet any of the criteria above they are urged to call the public health information line at 562.570.7907.

By Josh Villas