The monkeypox outbreak has prompted San Francisco officials to declare a local public health emergency.
Mayor London Breed said the declaration would start on Monday, allowing the city to prepare and allocate resources to prevent the spread of the virus.
“San Francisco showed during COVID that early action is essential for protecting public health,” Breed said in a statement. “We know that this virus impacts everyone equally – but we also know that those in our LGBTQ community are at greater risk right now. Many people in our LGBTQ community are scared and frustrated. This local emergency will allow us to continue to support our most at-risk, while also better preparing for what’s to come.”
According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, the city’s first reported monkeypox infection was on June 3. Currently, the city now has 260 confirmed cases.
Sen. Scott Wiener, a member of the California State Senate, praised city officials for the declaration, which came after he called for the city and state to declare states of emergency.
“San Francisco was at the forefront of the 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 can’t and won’t leave the LGTBQ community out to dry.”
Meanwhile, the monkeypox vaccine is still short in supply in San Francisco and across the Bay Area.
The vaccine clinic at San Francisco’s Zuckerberg General Hospital closed on Wednesday because it had no doses available. The clinic will reopen on Monday.
According to the San Francisco Department of Public Health, it has received 4,220 doses of the monkeypox vaccine that will be distributed to clinics throughout the city.
Generally, monkeypox is spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact or bodily fluids. Health officials said the virus is not airborne like COVID-19 or the flu.
Symptoms include a rash or sores on the skin, and contraction begins with flu-like symptoms, with rash or sores appearing within 1 to 3 days.