The Santa Barbara County Public Health Department announced a total of three confirmed cases of monkeypox in Santa Barbara County following the announcement of two confirmed cases in an Aug. 9 press release.
The three local adults are currently in isolation, and Public Health completed the contact tracing process to identify anyone who possibly had contact with them.
The first confirmed case of monkeypox in a local adult was announced in a press release on Aug. 3. Public Health is continuing to monitor those identified in contact tracing for symptoms and “appropriate public health interventions are being taken,” according to the press release.
“As we continue to identify cases of monkeypox locally, it is important for our community to understand how this virus spreads and how it does not spread,” County Health Officer Henning Ansorg said in the press release. “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.”
According to Public Health, the monkeypox virus can be spread through direct contact with rashes, scabs or bodily fluids, respiratory secretions during “prolonged, face-to-face contact” and/or touching items like clothing that previously had contact with infected rashes or bodily fluids. Pregnant individuals can also spread the virus to their fetus.
Symptoms of monkeypox include fevers, headaches, muscle aches, swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, coughs, sore throats, nasal congestion and pimple-like rashes.
“Santa Barbara County health officials continue to work closely with state health partners in procuring more vaccine[s] for local communities,” the Aug. 9 press release read.
Anyone possibly exposed to or have symptoms consistent with monkeypox are encouraged to contact their healthcare provider immediately or contact County Public Health at 805-681-5280 or at PHDDiseaseControl@sbcphd.org.
The Nexus will continue to report on this topic as more information becomes available.