San Francisco, CA –The San Francisco Department of Public Health (SFDPH) announced today three additional probable cases of monkeypox that have been identified in San Francisco residents through testing at a California Department of Public Health laboratory in Richmond, CA. These three additional cases follow a first probable case last week, bringing the total probable case count in San Francisco to four.
SFDPH is awaiting confirmation of monkeypox for all four cases from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In the cases reported today, one of the individuals reported to have traveled within the U.S. recently while the other two individuals did not. All three individuals are in isolation and in good health condition.
The risk to the general population from this virus is believed to be low. Having close physical contact, including sex, with multiple people can put a person at higher risk for monkeypox.
There is still more to learn about the conditions in which monkeypox is spreading, and people can expect that public health guidance will evolve accordingly. It is currently understood that monkeypox can spread through activities that include intimate sexual contact, kissing, breathing at very close range, or sharing bedding and clothing. It appears as a distinctive rash or sores on the skin anywhere on the body, including in the genital area. It often begins as flu-like symptoms.
While we are seeing a cluster of cases appearing nationally and internationally, monkeypox remains rare, and there are other contagious illnesses that can cause rash or skin lesions. For example, syphilis and herpes are much more common than monkeypox, can appear similar, and should be treated too.
Individuals who may have been exposed to monkeypox, or who have symptoms, should immediately contact their health care provider for evaluation and guidance. Clinicians should report suspected monkeypox cases to SFDPH Communicable Disease Control.SFDPH anticipates that more cases of monkeypox could occur in SanFrancisco. SFDPH is monitoring updates and guidance from the CDC and the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) on the evolving situation. SFDPH systems are in place to receive reports of suspected cases from health care providers; identify and reach out to any individuals who have been in contact with cases during their infectious period; and ensure that clinicians remain well informed about testing, infection control and management of monkeypox as the situation develops. CDPH has procured the Jynneos vaccine to distribute to counties for preventative use in people who are identified as close contacts.
Most of the recent cases of monkeypox globally are among individuals who self-identify as gay men or men who have sex with men, which may put individuals in this community at higher risk of infection. However, anyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, can become infected with and spread monkeypox.
How to protect yourself:
•Cover exposed skin in dense, indoor crowds
•Don’t share bedding or clothing with others
•Talk to close physical contacts about their general health like recent rashes or sores
•Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks
If you have symptoms particularly a rash consistent with monkeypox, or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox:
•Cover the area of the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing
•Wear a well-fitted mask
•Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed
•Contact a health care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation
•Assist public health officials to track others who may have been exposed
•Inform sex partners of symptoms
How to get help:
If you do not have a provider, or have difficulty scheduling an appointment, you can be seen at SF City Clinic at 7th Street San Francisco (628-217-6600) or at Strut located 470 Castro Street (415-581-1600). Additional San Francisco cases will be reported at: SF.gov/monkeypox. Information about how to gather safely and about safer sex can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/sexualhealth/social.html