Health officials are currently investigating a “likely” case of monkeypox virus from a traveler returning from Europe and are awaiting confirmation by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If confirmed, it would be the first case of the virus in California, and one of at least six cases in the U.S. this year total. “Based on symptoms and preliminary testing, monkeypox confirmation is likely,” Sacramento County Public Health officials said in a Tuesday morning announcement. The CDPH said the individual “tested preliminarily positive for an orthopox virus,” which is a sub-variant of viruses that includes monkeypox and smallpox - state and local officials are still awaiting confirmation from the CDC.
Sacramento County Public Health Officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said that the risk of monkeypox spread to the public was “extremely low.” “This case appears to be related to recent travel to Europe,” Kasirye said at a news conference. “Public Health is working with CDPH to conduct contract tracing.” Officials declined to disclose the day of return or which airport the traveler went through.
The CDPH did say health officials began investigating the case as early as Saturday. The tests were sent on Monday to CDC officials, Kasirye said, and local officials weren’t sure when results would be returned.