July 25, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Los Angeles Public Health Warns of Surge in Mpox Cases Reported in Los Angeles County

Public Health Officials Urge Testing, Prevention, and Vaccination Amid Recent Spike

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is warning residents and healthcare providers about a significant rise in mpox cases. Over the past two weeks, 10 new cases have been reported, up from an average of fewer than two cases per week in preceding weeks.

Mpox, previously known as monkeypox, is primarily transmitted through close contact with body fluids, sores, shared bedding or clothing, and respiratory droplets from activities such as kissing, coughing, or sneezing. Symptoms include a rash or unusual sores that resemble pimples or blisters on the face, body, and genitals, along with fever, chills, headache, muscle aches, and swollen lymph nodes. Early detection, testing, and vaccination are essential for controlling the spread of the disease and safeguarding public health.

Public Health Recommendations:

Testing: Individuals who develop symptoms consistent with mpox, such as a rash, fever, or swollen lymph nodes, should seek medical attention and get tested. Healthcare providers should remain vigilant and promptly report suspected cases to Public Health for appropriate testing and intervention.

Prevention: Vaccination is a safe and effective method to prevent mpox and may reduce symptoms. To minimize the risk of transmission, Public Health advises:

  • Asking partners if they have mpox symptoms or feel ill, and avoid intimate contact if they do.
  • Reducing the number of sexual partners, particularly those whose recent sexual history is unknown.
  • Exchanging contact information with new partners for follow-up if needed.
  • Avoiding sex parties and other venues with multiple intimate contacts.
  • Using condoms and gloves to reduce exposure risk.
  • Not sharing towels, clothing, bedding, fetish gear, sex toys, or toothbrushes.
  • Washing hands, fetish gear, towels, bedding, and sex toys after each use.

Vaccination: The Jynneos vaccine, a two-dose vaccine for mpox, is available to everyone, with priority given to:

  • Men or transgender individuals who have sex with men or transgender persons.
  • Individuals of any gender or sexual orientation who engage in sex or intimate physical contact at large public events or engage in commercial/transactional sex.
  • Persons living with HIV, especially those with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease.
  • Sexual partners of individuals in the above groups.

Vaccination is available at sexual health clinics and walk-up vaccine clinics listed at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/sexualhealthclinics/ and https://myturn.ca.gov/.

Public Health is working closely with healthcare providers, community organizations, and other stakeholders to address the resurgence of mpox. Enhanced surveillance, contact tracing, and outbreak investigations are underway to identify infection sources and prevent further transmission. Mobile vaccination units are providing free vaccinations at various Pride events this season.

A coordinated response is crucial to mitigate the impact of this outbreak. Increasing vaccination rates and maintaining vigilance can minimize the spread of Mpox, protecting the health and well-being of Los Angeles County’s diverse communities.

Anyone with information regarding this crash is encouraged to contact Officer E. Quintero at the CHP West Los Angeles Office at (310) 642-3939. After business hours, please contact the Los Angeles Communication Center at (323) 259-3200.

in NEWS
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