The first likely case of monkeypox in California has been reported in Sacramento County, the county’s public health department reported Tuesday.

An individual who recently traveled to areas in Europe where monkeypox has been reported returned to Sacramento County, and is now under investigation by the county. While their diagnosis has not been confirmed, the county said in a press release, the individual’s symptoms and “preliminary testing” match up with a likely monkeypox diagnosis.

“This case appears to be related to recent travel to Europe,” said Dr. Olivia Kasirye, Sacramento County Public Health Officer, in a statement. “[Sacramento County] Public Health is working with CDPH to conduct contact tracing, and risk to the general public is extremely low.” 

The individual is currently isolating at home and is not in contact with others, the county added. KTVU reports that the county was informed of the patient’s possible monkeypox diagnosis Saturday.


The anxiety surrounding the virus, which was first identified in Europe, is high as its rapid spread continues across the globe. While a leading theory of its spread is that it originated from sexual contact at two raves in Spain and Belgium, it is unclear if the current monkeypox spread is caused by sexual transmission or through close contact.

Anyone in close contact with a symptomatic individual or their clothes and bedsheets can be infected. Still, that has not stopped officials the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from cautioning gay and bisexual men, in particular, of being at particular risk of contracting the virus. 

“… Many of those affected in the current global outbreak identified as gay and bisexual men, Dr. John Brooks at the CDC’s Division of HIV/AIDS Prevention told CNN.

Most U.S. cases reported so far were of men who traveled outside of the United States.

The telltale symptoms of the virus are lesions and swollen lymph nodes, but fever, headache, muscle and backaches and exhaustion are also common symptoms, according to the CDC. These symptoms can last for up to four weeks. As many as one in 10 people who contracted monkeypox in Africa — where the virus is endemic among animals — have died, the agency added. Most people, however, recover without requiring hospitalization.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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