San Diego declares public health emergency over monkeypox

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Two days after California Governor Gavin Newsom announced the public emergency medical care about monkeypox, San Diego County followed suit on Tuesday.

The announcement was made, according to San Diego County Health Officer Dr. B. Wilma Wooten, due to the limited supply of vaccines, the city’s large population, and the global spread of the viral disease. However, health officials have told the public that the outbreak is “fundamentally different” from COVID-19 pandemic.

“The situation we are facing with monkeypox is fundamentally different,” said San Diego County Executive Nathan Fletcher. Times of San Diego. “We take this very seriously, but as I mentioned earlier, it is exponentially less contagious. We know more about him. We also have a vaccine at the very beginning.”

“Right now, monkeypox outbreaks are disproportionately impacting our LGBT community, but we know it can spread to others,” Fletcher added. “And it’s vital that we don’t stigmatize a single person, that we don’t stigmatize any community, that we don’t slander.”

San Diego health officials note state of emergency over monkeypox "fundamentally different" than the Covid-19 pandemic.

San Diego health officials say the monkeypox emergency is “fundamentally different” from the Covid-19 pandemic.
((AP Photo/Rick Bowmer))

WHO DECLARES MONKEY POS a GLOBAL HEALTH EMERGENCY

The current number of confirmed cases of monkeypox in the county is 46, all male, and 39 self-identifying as members LGBTQ+ community. There were no hospitalizations or deaths. Fletcher noted that the biggest challenge was finding affordable supplies of monkeypox vaccine. To date, the county has received 3,987 doses of the vaccine and administered 2,454 doses.

By declaring a public health emergency, the county now has more authority to use its resources to administer more vaccines, as well as to conduct contact tracing and increase the availability of testing to the public. Public health officials estimate that 66,000 people in the county are at high risk for the disease.

The San Diego Board of Supervisors must ratify the declaration exactly one week later and vote to renew it at least once every 30 days. Beginning Wednesday, the county will begin providing official infection data daily.

The public health emergency will allow county health officials to use state resources to administer additional vaccinations and monitor monkeypox.

The public health emergency will allow county health officials to use state resources to administer additional vaccinations and monitor monkeypox.
(REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz/File photo)

MONKEYPOX IN NUMBERS: FACTS ABOUT A RARE VIRUS THAT IS CURRENTLY SPREADING

The County will also provide resources for the public to receive new information about the outbreak via text messages. Residents will be notified of real-time updates on monkeypox and available medical services.

According to the World Health Organization, monkeypox is a rare infectious disease that belongs to the same family of viruses as smallpox, with symptoms including fever, swollen lymph nodes, and blisters that usually dry out on the skin. Individuals may experience mild symptoms, but the ability to carry the virus asymptomatically is unknown at this time. These symptoms usually last 2 to 4 weeks after initial contact.

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