Monkeypox

Monkeypox Resources

What is Monkeypox?

Monkeypox is a rare viral infection first identified in 1958. In most countries, cases are rarely seen in people who have not traveled to Central or West Africa, where the virus is endemic (regularly found). However, since May 2022, there has been an uptick in cases among people who have not visited Africa, including in Europe and North America, and here in California. 

Monkeypox is spread by close physical contact (including sexual contact) with someone who has symptoms or by touching contaminated items, like clothing and bedding. It can cause flu-like symptoms and/or a distinct rash that can be bumpy or fluid-filled on the face, body, genitals, arms, and legs which can last for 2-4 weeks. It may also be limited to one part of the body.

Should I be worried about Monkeypox?

There is a recent increase in reported cases where Monkeypox is not commonly seen, including in the United States and California. While it is good to stay alert about any emerging public health outbreaks, the current risk of getting Monkeypox for the general public is very low.  

Monkeypox is a known illness that spreads through very close contact compared to other infectious diseases like COVID-19, that are primarily spread through very small particles in the air. Monkeypox is also thought to be most contagious when symptoms like a rash are present, making it easier for infected individuals to stay away from others to prevent further spread.  

Most of the recent cases of Monkeypox globally are among individuals who self-identify as gay and bisexual men, trans people, and men who have sex with men, so people in these networks are currently at higher risk. However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can become infected and spread Monkeypox. 

Protect yourself from Monkeypox:

  • Consider wearing a well-fitted mask and covering exposed skin in dense, indoor crowds.
  • Don’t share bedding, clothing, and food or drink with others who exhibit symptoms of Monkeypox.
  • Talk with close physical contacts about their general health including recent rashes and sores.
  • Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks. 

If you have symptoms, particularly a rash consistent with Monkeypox, or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with Monkeypox, take the following steps:

  • Cover the area of the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing.
  • Wear a well-fitted mask.
  • Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed.
  • Contact a health care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation.
  • Assist public health officials to track others who may have been exposed.
  • Inform sex partners and other close contacts of symptoms. 

For additional information:

How to get help:

If you do not have a provider or have difficulty scheduling an appointment, please call Napa County Public Health for further assistance at 707-253-4270.

Vaccines for Monkeypox:

The CDC advises that people who have been exposed to monkeypox be given the vaccine to prevent them from developing the disease. The vaccine is most effective at preventing monkeypox if it is administered within 4 days of exposure. If given between 4–14 days after the date of exposure, vaccination may help reduce symptoms, but may not prevent the infection from developing. 

At this time, the JYNNEOS vaccine is being prioritized for the following groups:

  • Individuals determined to have had direct physical contact with someone confirmed to have monkeypox
  • Attended an event or venue where a person contagious with monkeypox was at the event or venue and had direct physical contact with other people there
  • PrEP for people at occupational risk according to Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices guidance: laboratory workers, selected clinicians, response team members

For additional information regarding vaccinations for monkeypox please contact Napa County Public Health at 707-253-4270.

For Providers:

Immediately report a suspected case of Monkeypox to the Napa County Communicable Disease Unit, by calling 707-253-4231 during business hours 8am-5 pm and after hours to 415-906-1799.

Please visit our How to Report a Disease page for more information.