The San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency has identified two probable cases of monkeys that need to be verified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). These were the first cases to be found in San Diego County.
The two cases are unrelated, but both have recently traveled internationally. Although they have symptoms, they are doing well and are not in the hospital. Both individuals are isolated from others.
“The number of cases of cranberry virus worldwide and in the US has been increasing in recent weeks, so our public health department has been prepared for potential local outbreaks,” said Wilma J. Wooten, MD, M.P.H., County public health. officer. “Overall, the risk of monkeys to the general public remains very low.”
Both cases are currently listed as probable as all suspected cases of monkeypox require final confirmation from the CDC. Confirmation is expected in the coming days.
“The arrival of these probable cases in our region is not surprising, but it is anticipated,” said Chairman Nathan Fletcher, San Diego County Board of Supervisors. “Our public health leaders are confident that the majority of the County’s residents are at low risk of exposure.”
Tuberculosis is a viral infection that can be spread through contact with body fluids, poisoning on the body of a person with shingles, or shared items (eg clothing and bedding) contaminated with fluid from the wounds of a person with shingles.
The disease can also spread between people through saliva or respiratory droplets, usually between people in close proximity. Although the monkey is not generally considered a sexually transmitted disease, it can be transmitted during sex through skin-to-skin contact and other close contact, regardless of gender or sexual orientation.
The virus is not known to remain in the air and is not transmitted during short periods of shared airspace.
Previous cases of monkey prickly heat have been identified among travelers from, or residents of, countries in west and central Africa, where the prickly pear is considered endemic. Since May 2022, coin prickly cases have been reported in several non-endemic countries, including the United States. No deaths were reported.
The signs of the monkey are similar to, but milder than, the signs and symptoms of smallpox. These include:
A rash usually develops within 1 to 3 days after the appearance of a fever. The rash often starts on the face and then spreads to other parts of the body.
Most people who develop prickly monkey get symptoms 7 to 14 days (and up to 21 days) after exposure.
Most people who become infected with peat mites have a mild illness that develops without treatment over 2 to 4 weeks. Monkey ticks are contagious and can spread to others until scabies has erupted and a new skin layer has formed.
What People Should Do
Anyone who thinks they may have symptoms of pneumonia, including rash or abnormal lesions, should contact a healthcare provider immediately. Cover the rash area with clothing, wear a mask and avoid skin-to-skin contact with others until the symptoms have been medically assessed.
For more information on monkeys, please visit https://www.sandiegocounty.gov/content/sdc/hhsa/programs/phs/community_epidemiology/dc/human-monkeypox.html
Katie Cadiao is a communications specialist with the San Diego County Communications Office. Contact