by Noah O'Sullivan
Surpassing 20,000 monkeypox cases, the U.S. currently has the highest number of cases globally, with roughly 4,300 in California. The first reported death in the country came from Los Angeles County, which has had nearly 2,000 cases since May. Sonoma County has had 23 confirmed cases, though there have not been any deaths.
With a 99% survival rate, it is improbable the average person will die from contracting monkeypox. However, as Los Angeles has proven, it is not impossible and the monkeypox vaccine is currently available for those eligible to receive it. Whether or not you vaccinate against monkeypox, it is still a painful illness and it is best for both yourself and those around you to prevent contracting it. “If you see an open lesion, which is above the skin, whether it is wet or dry, you do not touch that lesion with your own hands,” advised Petaluma High School nurse genevieve foster.
It can take up to three weeks for monkeypox symptoms to show. These include fever, chills, exhaustion, muscle aches, backaches, headaches, sore throats, nasal congestion or coughs. Monkeypox spots can turn brown, look like pimples or blisters and be very painful or irritating.
Stay safe from monkeypox by washing your hands, avoiding close skin contact with people who appear to have a rash and objects people have used, especially those with open wounds. Officials are encouraging people to stay home if they are experiencing any of these symptoms or have been in close contact with anyone who has in the past few weeks.