Health · Visalia/Tulare

First case of Monkeypox found in Tulare County

Tulare County health officials announced Thursday that they have discovered the first case of Monkeypox in the area. 

As of Thursday, California had 186 identified cases of the virus, while there were 791 cases in the United State. 

Health officials noted that the risk of Monkeypox to the general population is low, and there have been no reported deaths from the virus. 

“It is important for our community to be informed on emerging public health threats like Monkeypox; however, currently the risk to the general public is low,” said Dr. Karen Haught, Tulare County Public Health Officer, in a statement. 

“The case is in isolation, recovering at home. We are actively investigating the circumstances surrounding this case, identifying close contacts, and notifying them of their potential exposure.” 

Monkeypox enters the body through broken skin, the respiratory tract or mucous membranes after skin or sexual contact, from bodily fluids or contact with contaminated clothing or linens. 

Health officials said that Monkeypox can be passed to others from the time symptoms start until all sores have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. 

Currently there are no treatments specifically available for monkeypox, but health officials said that vaccines that were developed to prevent smallpox may be recommended. 

“It is vital that persons who have symptoms or suspect that they have monkeypox contact their health care provider right away,” Haught said. “There are many other causes of rashes, but it is always important to let your provider know you have a rash when scheduling an appointment.” 

Health officials recommend the following precautions to reduce the spread of Monkeypox: 

  • Practice good hand hygiene often, with soap and water or alcohol-based rub
  • Wear a well-fitted face mask when around others
  • Talk with any new partners about their health before close or intimate contact
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and their bedding, clothing or other materials
  • Stay home and call your provider if you are sick with any symptoms are have a new rash
  • Stay aware if traveling to countries or large events where there are current outbreaks of Monkeypox
Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.