Los Angeles County health officials said Friday they have confirmed local transmission of monkeypox, with some recently identified patients having no history of recent travel that might account for their infections, and some attending large events that may have spread the illness.
As of Friday, there were 22 cases of monkeypox in the county, and health officials said some recent infections have occurred “among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men who attended large events where the exposure to monkeypox may have occurred.”
LA County health officials said they are working with organizers of the unspecified events to notify people of possible exposures.
“While supplies of monkeypox vaccine are limited, Public Health is offering the JYNNEOS vaccine in a targeted manner to reach individuals at higher risk of monkeypox,” according to the agency. “This includes people who are known close contacts to someone diagnosed with monkeypox and individuals who attended an event where they may have had skin-to-skin contact with someone who later tested positive for monkeypox virus. The vaccine is being used in these cases to reduce the risk of developing monkeypox.”
Health officials said the infection spreads through contact with bodily fluids, monkeypox sores or shared items such as bedding or clothing that were contaminated with fluids. It can also be transmitted through saliva and sexual contact.
Most people who develop monkeypox have only mild illness that goes away within two to four weeks without treatment.
People with symptoms are urged to visit a medical provider, cover the rash area with clothing, wear a mask and avoid close or skin-to-skin contact with others.
The CDC particularly recommends those steps for people who recently traveled to an area where monkeypox cases have been reported, or who have had contact with a confirmed or suspected monkeypox cases. A full list of countries that have confirmed monkeypox cases is available at https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/monkeypox.