Monkeypox virus. Via Pixabay.

Press release from the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Services:

The Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services Public Health Branch issued a health alert to local providers today after cases of monkeypox were recently confirmed in the U.S. and California, including three confirmed cases in Sacramento.

Public Health’s alert follows similar health alerts from the California Department of Public Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Monkeypox is a rare zoonotic infection caused by the monkeypox virus, which is in the same family as smallpox, but less severe than smallpox. Monkeypox is endemic to many Central and West African countries, however, there have been recent cases of monkeypox reported in non-endemic countries including the U.S., Canada and the U.K., as well as other parts of Europe and Australia.

Historically, monkeypox cases in the U.S. have occurred due to international travel and importation of animals. In 2021, the U.S., had two travel-related cases and 18 years prior, in 2003, there was an outbreak of cases associated with imported small mammals.

The monkeypox virus is spread to humans from infected humans, animals and materials contaminated with the virus. To learn more about monkeypox, visit the CDC at this link.