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Long queue at monkeypox clinic in San Francisco as health emergency takes effect

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) – Dozens of San Franciscans lined up outside the monkeypox vaccination clinic at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco early Monday, hoping to get a dose as the city was entering the first day of its health emergency triggered by a growing epidemic.

Across the city, particularly in the LGBTQ+ community, fears were mounting as the number of confirmed cases grew. On Thursday, city officials declared a medical emergency that began on Monday.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON MONKEYPOX: California Department of Public Health | SF Department of Public Health | Santa Clara County Department of Public Health

At the time, there were 261 confirmed cases of monkeypox in San Francisco. There were reportedly 799 cases in California and more than 4,600 cases in the United States.

“San Francisco is an epicenter for the country,” said San Francisco public health officer Dr. Susan Philip. “Thirty percent of all cases in California are in San Francisco.”

“We know this virus affects everyone equally – but we also know that members of our LGBTQ community are at higher risk right now,” San Francisco Mayor London Breed added. “Many people in our LGBTQ community are scared and frustrated. This local emergency will allow us to continue to support those most at risk, while better preparing for what is to come.

Some of those who gathered to celebrate the Dore Alley Fair over the weekend said they were taking precautions.

“I try to keep my distance,” said participant Chris Cashion. “If I get it, I’ll deal with it and I won’t let it defeat me.”

As monkeypox cases continued to rise in San Francisco, demand for vaccines remained high. San Francisco health officials initially requested 35,000 doses of monkeypox vaccine from state and federal authorities to meet the needs of San Franciscans.

Including last week’s allocation, to date the city has only received about 12,000 doses.

So the line began to grow early Monday morning outside the clinic at Zuckerberg General Hospital in San Francisco and stretched down the block. It was not immediately clear how long the supply would last.

In the meantime, you can take other precautions.

Monkeypox is spread through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, which includes sexual intercourse, kissing, very close breathing, and sharing bedding and clothing. Although the SFDPH continues to advocate for more vaccines, here are some additional preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of infection.

  • Consider limiting opportunities that put you in close skin-to-skin contact with others
  • Stay home if you’re not feeling well and encourage your friends to do the same
  • Call your doctor if you get a rash or sores
  • Talk with your sexual partners about yours and their health

If you have symptoms:

  • Speak to a health care provider as soon as possible
  • Avoiding skin-to-skin contact or close contact with others
  • Avoid sharing your bed while you have the rash
  • Do your best to keep a healthy distance from others


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