Riverside County has reported its first female case of monkeypox.
On Tuesday, the county reported seven new probable/new cases of monkeypox. Five of those cases were recorded in the Coachella Valley. The two other cases were in western Riverside County.
There are now 94 cases in Riverside County, 83 of those cases are in the Coachella Valley.
Officials confirmed the female case was a resident of Western Riverside County. As of Aug. 11, there have been 16 female cases of monkeypox in California. The state has a total of 1,945 cases.
On Monday, the Riverside County board of supervisors ratified the proclamation of a local health emergency due to monkeypox. Officials said the move could help the county get more vaccines.
"There's a lot that we don't know about Monkeypox. And we also felt that scarcity of vaccine that, you know, doing this could also help us with in asking for more vaccines", said Dr. Geoffrey Leung, Public health officer for Riverside County.
Supervisor Manuel Perez discussed the potential for events being canceled in the Coachella Valley during Monday's meeting.
“Just in case, eventually, we may have to declare a local state of emergency. And there are going to be events happening very soon out here and I just want them to be mindful that potentially we may need to cancel those events," Perez said.
Events could include Leather Pride in October and Palm Springs Pride in November. No events have been canceled due to Monkeypox and many hope there will be enough vaccines distributed before that has to happen.
The county announced on Monday it received about 1,750 additional vaccines based on requests they've made. The county said it will continue to request other vaccines from the state.
"DAP, health, Eisenhower, and Desert Oasis, there are several providers in the east part of the county that is working with us on vaccine distribution with our vaccine supply. And then we are hoping that there will be state and federal funding coming down," said Kim Saruwatari, the Director of Public Health for Riverside County.
There are a number of ways to prevent the spread of monkeypox, including:
- Always talking to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus
- Avoiding close contact, including sex, with people with symptoms like sores or rashes
- Practicing good hand hygiene
- People who become infected should isolate until their symptoms are improving or have gone away completely. Rash should always be well covered until completely healed.
- Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms
- Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus
- Avoiding contact with infected animals
Monkeypox is generally spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact, resulting from infectious rashes and scabs, though respiratory secretions and bodily fluids exchanged during extended physical episodes, such as sexual intercourse, can also lead to transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.
Symptoms include fresh pimples, blisters, rashes, fever and fatigue. There is no specific treatment. People who have been infected with smallpox, or have been vaccinated for it, may have immunity to monkeypox.
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 case.
A full list of countries that have confirmed monkeypox cases is available at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/monkeypox.
A state-by-state tally of cases is available at www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/us-map.html.
Link: CDC’s tips for preventing exposure to Monkeypox.
Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing coverage.