Credit: medpagetoday.com

Breanna Reeves |

Health officials in Riverside County reported the first “probable case” of monkeypox in the region on June 22, 2022.

According to Riverside County Public Health officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung, tests were conducted on tissue samples from an unidentified man and “showed a preliminary positive for an Orthopoxvirus,” which is the family of viruses that includes monkeypox. Additional testing will be completed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to confirm the presence of the monkeypox virus.

“We are investigating the circumstances surrounding the case to determine the best course of action moving forward,” said Leung in a statement. “Given that there have been other probable cases in the region it is not surprising that we would have one in Riverside County.”

The individual was seen in an outpatient setting and did not require hospitalization, according to Riverside University Health System – Public Health’s statement.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Monkeypox has been detected in several states (indicated in blue) across the continental U.S. A total of 156 U.S. cases confirmed ( 40 in California) as of June 22, 2022. (source: cdc.com)

Monkeypox is characterized as a rare disease and is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact. Monkeypox belongs to the same family of viruses that includes smallpox, and can be spread from infected humans, animals and materials that contain the virus. Monkeypox is “much less” contagious than COVID-19 and can be prevented by avoiding close contact with people who may have symptoms and by wearing protective gear like face masks.

Symptoms of the disease include fever, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, body aches and a rash that may look like blisters. There are no current treatments that are specific for monkeypox.

The first suspected case of monkeypox in California was reported on May 27, 2022 in Sacramento County from a person who recently traveled in Europe. The California Department of Health (CDPH) issued an advisory to healthcare providers, requesting that they report suspected cases based on the definition of a “Possible Case” following a patient evaluation and physical exam. 

As of June 31, CDPH reports 39 current confirmed cases of monkeypox in the state. As the department monitors the cases of monkeypox in the state, health officials have identified the risk to the public as being very low based on current information.

Breanna Reeves

Breanna Reeves is a reporter in Riverside, California, and uses data-driven reporting to cover issues that affect the lives of Black Californians. Breanna joins Black Voice News as a Report for America Corps member. Previously, Breanna reported on activism and social inequality in San Francisco and Los Angeles, her hometown. Breanna graduated from San Francisco State University with a bachelor’s degree in Print & Online Journalism. She received her master’s degree in Politics and Communication from the London School of Economics. Contact Breanna with tips, comments or concerns at breanna@voicemediaventures.com or via twitter @_breereeves.