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Two new cases of monkeypox reported in the Coachella Valley

KESQ

The Coachella Valley now has a total of 72 probable/confirmed cases of monkeypox.

On Friday, Riverside County health spokesperson Jose Arballo Jr announced there were two new cases of the virus. Both were men from the Coachella Valley.

With these two new cases, the county's total case count increased to 78.

In the past seven days, the county has reported 37 probable/confirmed cases of monkeypox.

On Monday, Riverside County Public Health Officer Geoffrey Leung proclaimed a Public Health Emergency due to the growing number of Monkeypox cases.

Officials said they hope the proclamation will show the community that Public Health views Monkeypox as a threat to all county residents. Leung added that the move could help as local officials lobby for additional vaccine doses, which has been in limited supply.

At this time, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has allocated a limited number of JYNNEOS vaccine doses to Riverside County. JYNNEOS is licensed for adults 18 years and over. It is administered as a two dose injection series in the upper arm at least four weeks apart.

Riverside County is also working with community partners to provide Tecovirimat (TPOXX) for infected patients who are at higher risk of severe disease from monkeypox.

At this time, most patients have not required TPOXX and symptoms have resolved on their own with symptom management strategies.

On Friday, DAP Health and the Desert Healthcare District and Foundation announced they joined forces to create a full-page advertisement in the Sacramento Bee designed to get state legislators' attention. The ad urgently calls for an immediate increase of vaccines for LGBTQ+ residents to prevent further spread of the virus.

Both the City of Palm Springs and Desert Care Network are featured in the ad as community partners supporting the effort. The ad will be featured in the Sunday edition of the Sacramento Bee.

Last month, Palm Springs Mayor Lisa Middleton called on the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and the California Department of Public Health to quickly shift their strategy in the acquisition and distribution of the Monkeypox vaccine in order to better meet demand.

“We have a very large population of individuals who are particularly vulnerable,” Middleton said.

There is a number of ways to prevent the spread of monkeypox, including:

  • Always talking to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genitals and anus
  • Avoiding close contact, including sex, with people with symptoms like sores or rashes
  • Practicing good hand hygiene
  • Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms
  • Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus
  • People who become infected should isolate until their symptoms are improving or have gone away completely. Rash should always be well covered until completely healed.

Monkeypox spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, including during sex, as well as activities like kissing, hugging, massaging, and cuddling. Monkeypox can spread through touching materials used by a person with monkeypox that haven’t been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact. Vaccination helps to protect against monkeypox when given before or shortly after an exposure.

Article Topic Follows: monkeypox

Jesus Reyes

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