Los Angeles County health officials said they are closely monitoring developments in an international monkeypox outbreak, but no cases have been found locally or in the state of California as of Saturday.
So far, there has been one case confirmed in the United States, in Massachusetts. However, world health officials are growing increasingly concerned due to monkeypox cases that have popped up in Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom.
The viral disease is usually restricted to Central and West Africa.
Monkeypox generally begins with flu-like symptoms but can lead to facial and body rashes.
People who think they may have been exposed or developd symptoms, most notably rashes or lesions, should contact a health care provider.
"In parts of Central and West Africa where monkeypox occurs, people can be exposed through bites or scratches from rodents and small mammals, preparing wild game, or having contact with an infected animal or possibly animal products," according to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health.
Cases of monkeypox in Europe and the United States are rare.
"However, cases have occurred in these countries that are associated with international travel or animals imported from areas where the disease is more common," the public health department added. "The current clusters involve persons who have not traveled to areas where the disease is common or had exposure to animals. It's not clear how people in those clusters were exposed to monkeypox but cases include individuals who self-identify as men who have sex with men."
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