Contra Costa Health Services, along with the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other agencies, are monitoring a growing outbreak of monkeypox cases in the United States and California. Visit the CDPH monkeypox tracking page for the latest information about confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox in the county.
While it is good to stay alert about any emerging public health outbreaks, the current risk of getting monkeypox in the general public is very low, outside of certain activities that increase the chance of exposure.
Monkeypox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with the monkeypox virus. It belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, although monkeypox tends to be milder than smallpox. Monkeypox spreads to through close, personal, often skin-to-skin contact, including sex and kissing. The virus can be spread from the time symptoms start until all sores, including scabs, have healed and a fresh layer of skin has formed. This can take several weeks.
Monkeypox symptoms usually start within 2 weeks of exposure to the virus. Initial symptoms are similar to flu (fever, headache, fatigue, swollen lymph nodes), followed by a rash and sores that look similar to herpes sores. The rash or sores may be located on or near the genitals or anus but could also be on other areas like the hands, feet, chest, or face.
- The sores will go through several stages, including scabs, before healing.
- The sores can look like pimples or blisters and may be painful or itchy.
- Sores may be inside the body, including the mouth, vagina, or anus.
- Avoid intimate and physical contact with anyone who has symptoms
- Talk openly with sexual partners prior to intimate physical contact
- Consider covering exposed skin in dense, indoor crowds
- Don't share bedding, clothing with others
- Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks
Vaccine supply is currently very limited in Contra Costa County and prioritized for community members who have had a potential exposure to someone with monkeypox virus or are at high risk of exposure to monkeypox virus, including:
- Gay, bisexual, and other men or trans people who have sex with men, who have had more than 1 sexual partner in the past 14 days
- Sex workers of any sexual orientation or gender identity
- Persons who had close contact within the past 14 days with someone with suspected or confirmed monkeypox
- Persons who had close contact with others at a venue or event or within a social group in the past 14 days where a suspected or confirmed monkeypox case was identified. This includes persons who received notice from a venue or event of a potential exposure within the past 14 days.
Contra Costa Health (CCH) recommends that anyone who has had a potential exposure to monkeypox or meets one or more of the criteria above get vaccinated. In coming weeks, as CCH and other community healthcare providers receive more vaccine, information will be posted on this page about how to get vaccinated.
Use this link to request an appointment at a future Contra Costa Health monkeypox vaccine clinic.
- Home Isolation Guidance | Spanish
- Healthcare Provider Advisory - Monkeypox in the US (8/01/2022)
- CDC monkeypox webpage
- Monkeypox in California (CDPH)
- Monkeypox Q&A
- Monkeypox Communications Toolkit