HANFORD, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – Health officials in Kings County announced Monday their first confirmed case of monkeypox.

The confirmation comes as the federal CDC and the state CDPH (California Department of Public Health) confirmed an increase in reported cases. However, the CDPH continues to describe the current risk of monkeypox to the general public as low. Officials add that, of California’s 4,302 cases, there have been no reported monkeypox-related deaths.

According to the Kings County Department of Public Health, monkeypox spreads through direct, close contact with an infected person. Steps people can take to reduce the spread include:

  • Practice good hand hygiene often, with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer
  • Wear a well-fitted face mask when around others
  • Talk with any new partners about their health before close or intimate contact
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and their bedding, clothing, or other materials
  • Stay aware if traveling to countries or large events where there are current outbreaks of
  • monkeypox

Anyone who thinks they may be infected with monkeypox is encouraged to contact a health care provider.