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A Second Monkeypox Case Is Confirmed In LA County

Round and spherical shapes appear in gray on a white background.
A microscopic view of monkeypox virions.
(Courtesy CDC)
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Public health officials are investigating a second suspected monkeypox case in Los Angeles County.

The unidentified L.A. County resident recently traveled — officials aren't saying where — and then developed symptoms. The person is currently in isolation, according to public health officials who are doing contact tracing to find any other people who may have been exposed.

Typically, the illness lasts a few weeks. Symptoms include a fever, aches and a rash with painful pustules.

Monkeypox usually spreads through close or prolonged contact with an infected person or contaminated items, such as bedding or clothing. Health officials say the risk to the general population is very low.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports at least eight confirmed cases in California so far. Nationwide, 40 cases have been confirmed in 15 states. New York, with nine cases, currently has the highest count.

What Is Monkeypox?

As we reported when the first case in L.A. County was confirmed last week:

Monkeypox is caused by a member of the same family of viruses as smallpox, although it’s much less severe and experts say chances of infection are low.

Although this version of monkeypox isn't usually deadly, it can cause a nasty illness that lasts for several weeks. Typically, people have a fever, muscle aches and then a rash on their face, mouth, hands and possibly genitals.

The current global outbreak is unusual because not all cases are linked to travel to countries where monkeypox is continually present, such as west and central Africa.

The smallpox vaccine is said to be about 85% effective against monkeypox, although that effectiveness wanes over time.
What questions do you have about the pandemic and health care?
Jackie Fortiér helps Southern Californians understand the pandemic by identifying what's working and what's not in our health response.