SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The cases of monkeypox continue to grow within Sacramento County.

The county’s health department website reported seven new probable cases, totaling 21 suspected or confirmed infections.

The first case was reported at the end of May, but the numbers have increased in the past week and health officials said they are watching things closely.

“We are watching it closely,” Jamie White, epidemiology program manager at Sacramento County Public Health, said.

Previously there were only eight cases in the county, but within the past week, 13 new cases were reported. Public health said some are connected to previous cases while others are new.

“We are watching an increase in cases not only within Sacramento County but definitely across the state other states and countries,” White said.

White said the seven recent probable cases will become confirmed cases once the Center for Disease Control and Prevention tests come back with the same results.

“One of the primary ways it spreads is direct contact with lesions. People who usually develop it experience something like a rash or something that looks like a blister,” White said.

While the virus doesn’t have the same transmission rate as COVID-19, health officials here and across the country are working to get ahead of this virus.

“There is more transmission than I think doctors expected,” Dr. Dean Blumberg said.

Blumberg with UC Davis Health said getting in front of it has been difficult.

“There is limited amount of vaccine to go around, so it’s being prioritized to those who are at the highest risk,” Blumberg said.

The county public health reports they have distributed almost 300 vaccines to the community and given nearly 900 doses to providers. Health officials urge people to take it seriously and get tested.

“At the beginning, there was very limited testing capacity, but that has changed now. Not only does the CDC provide the testing, but this is done in many commercial labs also,” Blumberg said.

Currently, only select groups can get the vaccine. The county told FOX40 they are looking to ramp up vaccine clinics when they receive more doses from the federal government.

They will receive another shipment of 600 doses on Tuesday.

As for who should get vaccinated, the Department of Health Services advised certain groups to get the vaccine.

Men who have sex with men and/or transgender individuals who meet at least one of the following criteria:

· Tested positive for an STI in the past two months

· Two or more sexual partners in the last three weeks

· Attended or work at a commercial sex venue in the last three weeks

· Had anonymous sex in the past three weeks

· Engaged in transactional sex (sex work) in the past three weeks