SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — A third suspected case of monkeypox is under investigation in Sacramento County as confirmed cases around the nation are growing.

Sacramento County officials are looking to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to confirm the case. This third suspected case was detected using contract tracing.

The first confirmed case in the county was announced May 25 in a person who had recently traveled to Europe.

The virus spreads through the respiratory system so it can be caught being face-to-face with an infected person for a prolonged period of time. It can also be spread through bodily fluids, skin lesions, contaminated fabric like clothing or bedding and sexual activity.

Contract tracing led officials to a second confirmed positive case announced Friday.

“The question that I think needs to be addressed is how widespread is it already,” UC Davis Infectious Disease Specialist Dr. Stuart Cohen said. “And if it is not particularly widespread then it seems you can put a bit of a rope around it.”

Cohen raised that question with us last week reflecting on the first confirmed case. The answer is still unclear.

The CDC reports 15 cases scattered around the country. That includes confirmed monkeypox cases, as well as orthopoxvirus cases— the family of viruses that include monkeypox.

Overall cases nationwide and locally have been mild. But while maintaining risk to the general public is low, the CDC has issued a travel alert urging people to be cautious in North America, Europe, and Australia where the virus has been recently reported.

“It may or may not become a big thing,” Cohen said. “I think people just have to be aware and be smart.”

That includes knowing the signs like feeling and looking sick.

Monkeypox symptoms:

  • fever
  • headache
  • muscle aches
  • backache
  • swollen lymph nodes
  • chills
  • exhaustion