San Francisco declares public health emergency over monkeypox

San Francisco declares public health emergency over monkeypox
San Francisco declares public health emergency over monkeypox

The city has more than 260 cases of monkeypox after reporting its first case in early June

The monkeypox outbreak has prompted authorities to declare a local public health emergency in San Francisco.

Mayor London Breed said the declaration will begin Monday and allows the city to prepare and allocate resources to prevent the spread of the virus.

“San Francisco demonstrated during COVID that early action is essential to protect public health,” Breed said in a statement. “We know that this virus affects everyone equally, but we also know that those in our LGBTQ community are at higher risk right now. Many people in our LGBTQ community are scared and frustrated. This local emergency will allow us to continue to support those most at risk, while also better preparing for what is to come.”

The San Francisco Department of Public Health reported the first monkeypox infection in the city on June 3. The city now has more than 260 confirmed cases, officials said.

Sen. Scott Wiener, a Democrat from San Francisco, praised city officials for the statement, which came a day after he called for both the city and state to declare states of emergency over the monkeypox outbreak.

“San Francisco has been at the forefront of public health responses to HIV and COVID-19, and we will be at the forefront when it comes to monkeypox," Wiener said in a statement. "We cannot and will not let the LGBTQ community dry up.”

Meanwhile, monkeypox vaccines remain in short supply in San Francisco and throughout the Bay Area.

The vaccine clinic at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco closed Wednesday because it had no available doses. The clinic is expected to reopen on Monday.

The San Francisco Department of Public Health said Thursday that it has received 4,220 doses of the monkeypox vaccine that will be sent to clinics across the city.

While many cases have been confirmed among men who identify as gay or bisexual, health experts have stressed that the virus is not exclusive to men who have sex with men, and anyone can get monkeypox regardless of sexual orientation .

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