The Los Angeles County Public Health Department confirmed Friday the existence of monkeypox cases that were transmitted within the community.
Public health officials said several of the 22 cases reported in Los Angeles County have no history of international or out-of-state travel, meaning the cases likely originated in the county.
The disease does not spread easily between people and can be spread from contact with bodily fluids or open sores.
Monkeypox can be spread to anyone, officials say, but many of the cases have been identified among gay, bisexual men and other men who have had sex in large gatherings.
The public health department is continuously working to notify organizers of such events when an attendee has been exposed to the viral disease.
Vaccines for the disease exist but are limited, so they are currently only being given to individuals who are considered to be at high risk of exposure.
Higher risk individuals include people who have close contact with someone diagnosed with monkeypox or people who have attended events where skin-to-skin contact was taking place between people who later tested positive for the disease.
The pool of those eligible to receive the vaccine will expand as availability increases, public health officials said.
L.A. County officials are encouraging anyone who experiences monkeypox-like symptoms, those who have had close contact with a positive case, or people who traveled to countries where monkeypox cases have been reported to contact their health care provider.
People who do not have a regular provider can also call 211 for help.
For more information about monkeypox, including symptoms and vaccine info, click here.
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