Monkeypox

San Bernardino County has been vaccinating residents for monkeypox.  (Contributed photo by San Bernardino County)

Gov. Gavin Newsom recently declared a state of emergency to combat monkeypox outbreaks in areas throughout California, but cases continued to remain low in San Bernardino County.

The emergency declaration does not impose mandates on counties or the public but was instead created to coordinate a whole-government response to monkeypox, seek additional vaccines and lead outreach and education efforts on accessing vaccines and treatment, according to a news release issued by San Bernardino County on Aug. 5.

“We have the infrastructure in place to provide vaccines and resources, and we will continue to monitor the virus in our county,” said Deputy Health Officer Dr. Sharon Wang. “Monkeypox is not airborne like COVID-19 and isn’t as contagious. While it’s good to be vigilant about viruses in the community, the risk of contracting monkeypox in the county remains very low. It is mainly transmitted through close, direct personal contact.”

There have been six cases of monkeypox within San Bernardino County and 1,135 cases statewide with the bulk of cases occurring in Los Angeles and San Francisco counties. The county’s first confirmed case was reported in a Fontana resident in July.

Monkeypox spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, especially as a result of close personal contact. Monkeypox can spread through touching materials used by an infected person, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread through respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact.

The county has received approximately 450 doses of the JYNNEOS vaccine from the state and about 19 people have been vaccinated in the county. The county is expected to vaccinate more people and receive more vaccines in the future. A selection of doses has been reserved for exposed individuals and for people with occupational risk. The Public Health Department is planning to offer both pre- and post-exposure doses at each of the county’s public health clinics and distribute doses to provider sites throughout the county.

The county has created a dedicated monkeypox email address (monkeypox@dph.sbcounty.gov) for residents and providers to reach out if they have additional questions. Individuals who are interested in the vaccine may complete the Monkeypox Vaccine Interest Form.

To learn more about monkeypox, visit wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/monkeypox or call the Communicable Disease Section at 1 (800) 722-4794.

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