Monkeypox in LA County: How can you stay safe? Use same measures used to prevent COVID, doctors say


LOS ANGELES (KABC) — Los Angeles County’s first case of monkeypox has yet to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but all indications point to it being there.

So what exactly is monkeypox? Do you need to worry about it?

Unlike COVID-19, we’ve known about monkeypox for decades, so we’re better prepared.

Sporadic cases occur every year, but they generally remain confined to Africa. But some years you see it expand to other continents, and this is one of those years.

It’s usually not fatal, and monkeypox isn’t nearly as transmissible as the coronavirus.

Despite additional cases, health officials said monkeypox is not as transmissible as COVID and poses a very low risk.

“What I can tell you is that this person is confirmed to have traveled domestically,” LA County Public Health Director Dr. Barbara Ferrer said of the incident. alleged case.

We know that this person has had known close contact with a case and that the person is symptomatic and is in isolation.

The person is doing well and is not hospitalized.

“Monkeypox is a serious disease,” said Paul Chapin of Bavarian Nordic, a company that produces monkeypox vaccines. “However, it is nowhere near as contagious as COVID for example. So I think we need to take all necessary measures to try to contain the outbreak. The general public should not be alarmed.”

Experts say monkeypox is a cousin of the smallpox virus and causes similar, but milder, symptoms in humans.

It can be transmitted to humans through a bite or scratch. Human-to-human transmission occurs either through hugging, touching, or prolonged face-to-face contact.

“It can also be transmitted if someone has a virus very close to someone coughing and talking loudly,” said Dr. Edward Jones-Lopez, infectious disease specialist at USC’s Keck Medicine.

He said the same mitigation efforts you use for COVID-19, like wearing a mask and staying apart, will keep you safe.

Symptoms include: Headache, fever, exhaustion, muscle aches, chills, back pain, lesions and swollen lymph nodes.

Available vaccines and treatments can help contain outbreaks.

“It’s a vaccine that’s not specifically against monkeypox, but it does provide pretty good cross-protection against smallpox,” Jones-Lopex said.

Some vaccines, including that for monkeypox and rabies, can be given right after a person has been exposed to prevent the virus from taking hold in the body.

There are two vaccines in the US national stock that can be used for exposure to monkeypox.

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