SAN LEANDRO, Calif. - Alameda County's health care service agency on Thursday announced its first probable monkeypox case. Later in the evening, San Francisco health officials said they had three additional probable cases of the diseases.
The Alameda County patient tested positive for Orthopox, the genus of virus that is associated with smallpox and monkeypox, according to health officials. Now, the health department is awaiting pending results from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm if this was a monkeypox infection.
The suspected patient had close contact with a person who recently tested positive for Orthopox, according to a news release. Health officials said having close physical contact, including sex, with multiple people can put a person at higher risk for monkeypox.
Alameda County Health Officer Dr. Nicholas Moss said the risk to the general population remains low.
The three new probable cases in San Francisco are residents, health officials said. The residents were tested at a California Department of Public Health laboratory in Richmond.
There are now at least 11 probable monkeypox cases in California. San Francisco's first probable case was announced last week. There are now four probable cases in San Francisco. San Francisco Department of Public Health said they are awaiting to confirm all four of these cases with CDC.
"In the cases reported today, one of the individuals reported to have traveled within the U.S. recently while the other two individuals did not. All three individuals are in isolation and in good health condition," San Francisco's health department said in a statement.
Health officials urged people not to be alarmed and to take steps to protect themselves, which includes washing hands with soap and avoiding sharing bedding, clothing, and food or drink with others.
Information from San Francisco Department of Public Health:
How to protect yourself:
• Cover exposed skin in dense, indoor crowds
• Don’t share bedding, clothing, and food or drink with others
• Talk to close physical contacts about their general health like recent rashes or sores
• Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks
If you have symptoms particularly a rash consistent with monkeypox, or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox:
• Cover the area of the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing
• Wear a well-fitted mask
• Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed
• Contact a health care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation
• Assist public health officials to track others who may have been exposed
• Inform sex partners of symptoms
How to get help if you don’t have a doctor:
If you do not have a provider, or have difficulty scheduling an appointment, you can be seen at SF City Clinic at 7th Street San Francisco (628-217-6600) or at Strut located 470 Castro Street (415-581-1600).