RIVERSIDE (CNS) – Riverside County reported seven more confirmed or
probable monkeypox cases today, including the first female case, raising the
overall number to 94.
Jose Arballo, a spokesman for Riverside University Health System, said
five of the cases were in the Coachella Valley and two were from western
Last Monday, Arballo reported the total probable/confirmed cases stood
at 59. There were 34 probable/confirmed cases the previous Monday. Two
cases originally reported in Riverside County have since been assigned to San
Riverside County Public Health Officer Geoffrey Leung signed a public
health emergency proclamation last week in an effort to focus attention on the
virus, and the county Board of Supervisors ratified the proclamation Monday.
“We have seen the devastating physical effects of monkeypox on those
who have been infected, as well as the emotional toll on partners, family and
loved ones,” Leung said in a statement. “Now is the time for Public Health,
our community partners and local leadership to reinforce our commitment to work
together to slow and eventually stop the spread of this virus.”
State and federal officials also proclaimed emergencies in response to
Riverside County health officials have distributed 75% of their
allotment of monkeypox vaccine doses to DAP Health, Eisenhower Medical Center,
Borrego Health and RUHS’ EIP clinic in the Coachella Valley from the county’s
limited supply, Arballo told City News Service.
He said the county received 3,514 doses of the two-dose JYNNEOS
monkeypox vaccine, enough for about 1,750 people, before the 75% was
distributed to the Coachella Valley.
The other 25% was kept for RUHS efforts such as larger scale events
and post-exposure prophylaxis, Arballo said.
“We continue to work on adding additional community partners to make
our limited vaccine supply available more widely, as we also continue to
advocate for more vaccine doses for our county,” Arballo said.
According to health officials, the vaccine can prevent infection if
given before or shortly after exposure to the virus.
“By sharing the vaccine, which is in limited supply, we wanted to
make it as easy as possible for patients to get the shot if they and their
medical provider agree it is appropriate,” said Kim Saruwatari, director of
public health for the county.
The county is also working with community partners to expand
eligibility for the two-shot vaccines to include at-risk individuals, and to
set up treatment sites with Tecovirimat — an antiviral medication used to
treat orthopoxvirus infections such as monkeypox.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California
Department of Public Health advise that the vaccine be prioritized for high-
risk and exposed patients. Gay and bisexual men are at increased risk of
contracting the virus, according to the CDC.
The World Health Organization has declared monkeypox a “public health
emergency of international concern.”
As of Monday, a total of 1,945 monkeypox cases were confirmed in
California — the second-highest of any state, behind New York’s 2,376 — while
nationwide, the aggregate count was at 11,890, according to the latest CDC
Monkeypox is generally spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact,
resulting from infectious rashes and scabs, though respiratory secretions and
bodily fluids exchanged during extended physical episodes such as sexual
intercourse can also lead to transmission, according to the CDC.
Symptoms include fresh pimples, blisters, rashes, fever and fatigue.
There is no specific treatment. People who have been infected with smallpox, or
have been vaccinated for it, may have immunity to monkeypox.
People with symptoms are urged to visit a medical provider, cover the
rash area with clothing, wear a mask and avoid close or skin-to-skin contact
The CDC particularly recommends those steps for people who recently
traveled to an area where monkeypox cases have been reported or who have had
contact with a confirmed or suspected monkeypox case.
A full list of countries that have confirmed monkeypox cases is
available at wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/notices/alert/monkeypox. A state-by-state
tally of cases is available at http://www.cdc.gov/poxvirus/monkeypox/response/2022/us-
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