San Francisco is declaring a local public health emergency related to the monkeypox virus, Mayor London Breed said Thursday as the number of cases soared in July.
Here’s what the Democrat mayor of the city announced:
“San Francisco is declaring a Local Public Health Emergency for monkeypox. This declaration will go into effect starting Aug. 1 and will allow us to prepare and dedicate resources to prevent the spread.”
The city has at least 281 cases out of about 800 in California and about 4,907 across the United States as of late July 28—including probable cases—according to data from San Francisco’s health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
More details of this report from ‘SF Gate’:
The mayor of San Francisco announced a legal state of emergency Thursday over the growing number of monkeypox cases, allowing officials to mobilize personnel and resources and cut through red tape to get ahead of a public health crisis reminiscent of the AIDS epidemic that devastated the city.
The declaration, which takes effect Monday, was welcomed by gay advocates who have grown increasingly frustrated by what they called San Francisco’s lackluster response to a virus that so far has affected primarily men who have sex with men, although anyone can get infected.
The city has 261 cases, out of about 800 in California and 4,600 nationwide, according to the San Francisco Department of Public Health. A national shortage of vaccine has resulted in people waiting in line for hours for scarce doses, often to be turned away when the shots run out.
The first case of the virus, which is predominately affecting the gay and bisexual community, was recorded on June 3.
In a statement, the agency said that both cases are “likely the result of household transmission” and “had no contact with each other.”
According to CDC:
“Young children (<8 years of age), individuals who are pregnant or immunocompromised, and individuals with a history of atopic dermatitis or eczema may be at especially increased risk for severe outcomes from monkeypox disease.”
“One is a toddler who lives in California, and the other is an infant who is not a resident of the U.S. and was “transiting through” the Washington, D.C. area when the test was done,” as reported by CBS News.
More from TGP:
It is still unknown how these children became infected with monkeypox, a disease that is most commonly transferred among gay men.
Per CDC, monkeypox is transmitted by symptomatic individuals through close contact with lesions, bodily fluids, or respiratory secretions and objects that have had contact with lesion crusts or bodily fluids, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex.
The media and health experts discuss the obvious — refrain from gay orgies for a few weeks to be safe.
Most pressing at the moment is acquiring more vaccines.
On Wednesday, the SF Department of Public Health said the federal government was sending 4,200 more doses of the monkeypox vaccine Jynneos, which will arrive soon. While welcome, officials say it’s a far cry from their request for 35,000 doses.
The allotment comes as vaccine clinics in the city have had to close their doors due to shortages.