Health officials in San Francisco are raising concerns about the ongoing monkeypox outbreak as cases continue to grow in the Bay Area and around the state.
California has been reported to have the second highest number of monkeypox cases at 117 only second to New York with 122 cases. San Francisco alone has 40 of these cases, nearly double the 24 cases reported last week.
Several local clinics have traced transmission to at least one event that occurred during San Francisco Pride. The organizers reported over the weekend that at least one of their attendees had tested positive for monkeypox, which primarily spreads through skin-to-skin contact.
Dr. Tyler TerMeer, CEO of the San Francisco AIDS Foundation, urged calm. TerMeer said that it is not only preventable but treatable and his clinic is one of several working to get ahead of any further spikes.
monkeypox is an infection that is predominantly impacting men who have sex with men, although there is no biological reason for that, Dr. TerMeer says. He also wants to make sure we’re not stigmatizing the men who have sex with men community in the Bay Area or across the country who may be impacted by monkeypox.
TerMeer says that his clinic currently has enough supply of the vaccine but it won’t last long. He is pushing for at least 1,000 doses of the vaccine but really needs closer to 6,000 doses to be prepared for any further spikes. They have been keeping an eye on spikes in Europe and warned we could be about a week out from a surge in cases.
It can be transmitted in multiple ways but we’re predominantly seeing it in skin to skin contact but it can live on clothing or material of someone who might have a lesion leaves around. Then it’s exposed to your own skin or it could be through long term respiratory exposure, although we’re not seeing that currently.
A monkeypox test is similar to a COVID swab test but instead on the skin. We recommend getting tested if you have come in contact with someone who has tested positive for monkeypox or have developed a rash in the form of bumps or a lesion.