30 new monkeypox cases have been added to Riverside County’s growing total, which now hovers at 158 cases.
“That was the highest number we’ve reported in a single day,” Riverside County Public Health’s Public Information Officer, Jose Arballo, shared.
But according to public health, this isn’t considered a spike.
“One of the things we learned during COVID is that the numbers that we report are not really those that come on a particular day,” Arballo explained. “I think everybody knows we reported no new cases yesterday, but as soon as we reported it, we were getting word during the day that we’re going to be having more cases that come in. We have testing being done at different locations and sometimes those come into the state. So, that’s why you have a situation like today when you have such a high number.”
Rather, public health is attributing it to more people testing.
“It’s the increased testing,” Arballo continued. “It isn’t like COVID when you are able to catch it so easily. There are specific things that have to happen for MPX to be spread. So, once people are getting tested, and more people are getting tested, it probably means more positive cases.”
On top of that, testing criteria has expanded, meaning more people are qualified to be tested.
“Maybe you haven’t been traveling to an area where MPX is more spread out. That was one of the criteria we used before, if you’ve been traveling in the area and if you’ve been exposed to a confirmed case. It was pretty narrow. Now it’s been expanded more over the last few weeks and so more people are getting tested,” Arballo said.
Instead of just traveling, a patient who has a rash with fluid-filled lesions similar to blisters are now eligible to test.
Regardless, public health continues to find new ways to vaccinate more people.
“We are also going to be doing the new form of the vaccine administration where it’s now up to five times per vial,” he said. “It’s done right under the skin. So, that allows us to have even more supplies.”
This new form of vaccine administration, public health emphasized, is just as effective as their method before.
“We’ve been told by the federal and state health officials that the intradermal would be just as effective for those who have gotten their first dose the other way,” he shared.
As of Wednesday, public health has 5,500 vaccines available and have since allocated 75% percent of that to their community partners at places like Eisenhower and DAP Health.
For more information on testing, the new criteria and vaccines, click here.