Sacramento monkeypox updates: Over 2,000 vaccine doses given

With the monkeypox outbreak now declared a global health emergency by the World Health Organization and virus cases recently confirmed among US children, Sacramento County’s public health office and partnering clinics have now given more than 2,000 vaccine doses to local residents.

The ramp-up comes as the county has now detected 29 probable or confirmed monkeypox infections to date among residents, including two reported Monday. That’s up from 21 a week earlier and from 27 on Friday.

All have been found since May 24, when the county’s first case, in a resident who recently returned from international travel, also marked California’s first of the outbreak.

In the two months since then, the Sacramento County public health office has found at least 28 additional infections via contact tracing, among recent domestic travelers and in some who have shown up to their health care provider with symptoms.

The local health office has administered at least 570 doses of the two-dose vaccines and redistributed another 1,695 to county health spokeswoman Samantha Mott said in an emailed response midday Monday, for a total of 2,265 doses made available to county residents.

The LGBT Community Center, at 1015 20th St. in midtown’s Lavender Heights neighborhood, is holding a walk-in clinic from noon to 4 pm Monday, while supplies last. The clinic is run by county health staff, Mott said.

Pucci’s Pharmacy, on Folsom Boulevard in East Sacramento, is administering vaccines on an appointment-only basis, according to its website.

The local health office in early July announced that it was “expanding preventative vaccine availability criteria to include MSM (men who have sex with men) and/or transgender (people) at high risk of exposure to monkeypox,” in line with a nationwide push to limit spread.

“Individuals who meet high-risk criteria may benefit from getting a two-dose monkeypox vaccine as a form of prevention,” county health officer Dr. Olivia Kasirye said at the time.

Latest monkeypox numbers for California, US and world

The California Department of Public Health, in a data tracker last updated Thursday, reported 434 statewide cases, up from 250 one week earlier.

San Francisco had recorded at least 159 as of Thursday and Los Angeles County at least 121, according to state health officials, followed by Alameda County at 33, then Sacramento and Santa Clara counties each at 26.

Probable or confirmed monkeypox has been detected in at least 22 California counties, with multiple cases in at least 18.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in a separate tracker updated Friday, recorded 2,891 infections across the US That is a 59% increase from the prior Friday’s total of 1,814.

New York had the most cases of any state at 900. California, Florida, Illinois, Georgia, Texas and DC had all also reported more than 100 cases, and the virus has been detected in every state except Alaska, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Vermont and Wyoming.

Close to 17,000 cases had been detected globally across 74 countries, the CDC reported Friday.

The CDC announced Friday that two children had been diagnosed with monkeypox: a California toddler, and an infant who is not a US resident.

How is monkeypox spread?

Spread of monkeypox is linked to prolonged, skin-to-skin exposure, according to experts.

Symptoms of monkeypox include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion. The patient typically develops a rash, often beginning on the face and spreading to other parts of the body, normally about one to three days after fever.

The incubation period is typically one to two weeks but can range up to three weeks, and the illness typically lasts two to four weeks, according to a county news release.

Doctors and public health officials urge residents to practice safe sex. These practices may include abstaining from sex, practicing monogamy and using condoms during sex to limit exposure to the virus.

Who should get a vaccine?

The county recommends that men who have sex with men and transgender people who meet one or more of these factors should get vaccinated:

Tested positive for a sexually transmitted infection in the last two months

Had more than two sexual partners in the past three weeks

Visited or worked at a commercial sex venue in the last three weeks

Had anonymous sex — which are encounters when parties do not know each others’ identities — in the last three weeks

Engaged in sex work in the past three weeks

Those who meet one or more of the above criteria are eligible for vaccination at Sacramento’s clinics.

The Bee’s Hanh Truong contributed to this story.

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Michael McGough anchors The Sacramento Bee’s breaking news reporting team, covering public safety and other local stories. A Sacramento native and lifelong capital resident, he interned at The Bee while attending Sacramento State, where he earned a degree in journalism.

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