Probable case of monkeypox found in San Francisco

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Probable case of monkeypox found in San Francisco

A probable case of monkeypox has been identified in a San Francisco resident amid a recent spike in cases in the United States and around the world, public health officials said Friday night.

Information about the person in San Francisco with the likely case could not be released due to privacy concerns, but public health officials said the person traveled to a “place with an outbreak of cases.” A California Department of Health and Human Services lab in Richmond confirmed the probable case on Friday. The case will now be referred to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for final confirmation, public health officials said.

San Francisco health officials revealed the likely case Friday night after the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 20 cases of monkeypox had been identified in 11 states, including four in California. The San Francisco case was not counted among the 11.

Until the San Francisco case is confirmed by the CDC, it is considered a probable case of monkeypox. The person reported no close contacts in San Francisco “during the period when she may have spread the infection to others,” public health officials said.

“We were delighted that this individual remained conscious and sought medical attention,” said San Francisco Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip, who added that the person and their medical provider asked for an immediate evaluation.

Philip said on Friday that while most cases of monkeypox resolve on their own, cases “on rare occasions can be serious and we want to prevent further spread in the community”.

“San Francisco is prepared for this and other cases should more arise,” Philip said. “We want to emphasize that this is not a disease that spreads easily through the air like COVID-19, but we want people who may have been exposed to be alert for symptoms and seek immediate medical attention if they develop symptoms of one.” Evaluation.”

None of the US cases have resulted in deaths, and the “overwhelming majority” are among people who have recently traveled internationally in a time frame that suggests their exposure occurred there, said Capt. Jennifer McQuiston, monkeypox incident manager -Reaction from the CDC, during a media briefing on Friday.

The other patients may have been in contact with a known case or identified through contact tracing. But at least one person has not traveled and the source of infection is unknown — suggesting the virus may be spreading in the United States, CDC officials said.

“Ongoing research suggests human-to-human transmission through the community, and the CDC is urging health officials, physicians and the public to remain vigilant, take appropriate infection prevention and control measures, and notify health officials of suspected cases to to reduce the spread of the disease,” CDC scientists wrote in a report published Friday that analyzed cases of U.S. monkeypox.

The risk to the public is still low, McQuiston said. Officials expect the number of cases to rise as more testing and contact tracing is conducted. In California, three confirmed cases have been detected in Sacramento County and one in Los Angeles County.

Monkeypox is a type of orthopoxvirus, the same family of viruses that smallpox belongs to, although monkeypox is less contagious and less serious. Monkeypox symptoms include a rash and skin lesions that rise and fill with fluid over time.

There are two federally approved orthopoxvirus vaccines — Acam2000 and Jynneos — now in use against monkeypox, and an antiviral treatment.

Acam2000 is to be taken after exposure and Jynneos can be taken before or after exposure. The antiviral — Tecovirimat, also known as Tpoxx — was originally approved for smallpox but can be given for monkeypox under a federal protocol that allows some drugs to be used for purposes other than those being tested in clinical trials, absent better alternatives Are available.

Federal health officials have shipped 1,200 doses of vaccine and 100 courses of treatment to eight states, Dr. Raj Panjabi, who coordinates the White House monkeypox response. He did not specify which states received them. The California Department of Health said Friday the state had received 200 doses of the Jynneos vaccine for preventative treatment in people exposed to monkeypox.

Federal officials declined to say on the call how many doses of vaccines or treatments are currently in the national stockpile. But there is “more than enough vaccine available” and they are “prepositioned across the country,” said Dawn O’Connell, assistant secretary for emergency preparedness at the US Department of Health and Human Services.

“The good news is that we already have the vaccines and treatments needed to respond,” O’Connell said.

Monkeypox can spread from person to person through close physical contact, including sexual contact, through infected wounds, body fluids, or respiratory droplets.

Health officials in Europe, where several countries are reporting outbreaks, recently said most or all cases have been in men, and many said they had had multiple sexual partners before contracting the virus.

The CDC report, released Friday, analyzed 17 U.S. patients with confirmed monkeypox infection as of May 31 and found that 14 of the 17 people had traveled internationally in the 21 days prior to the onset of symptoms. Sixteen of the 17 were identified as having sex with men. In many cases, the rash began in the genital area.

“We are focused on raising awareness within the LGBTQ-plus community,” said McQuiston.

Worldwide, more than 700 cases have been reported in at least 28 countries where monkeypox is not endemic. Monkeypox, a zoonotic disease most common in rodents that can spread to humans, is endemic in several central and west African countries.

The last outbreak in the US was in 2003, when about 70 cases were detected. Investigators traced the outbreak to a shipment of prairie dogs imported from Ghana.

The CDC urged health care providers to be on the lookout for monkeypox symptoms and to test patients if they suspect it.

Catherine Ho (she/she) is a contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle. Email: [email protected] Twitter: @Cat_Ho

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