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Monkeypox cases in San Francisco have ‘doubled’ since last week as testing expands amid growing demand for vaccines

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — LabCorp will begin monkeypox testing on Wednesday, doubling testing capacity nationwide. In the meantime, there is a growing demand for monkeypox vaccines that cities like San Francisco are struggling to meet.

San Francisco health officials say cases of monkeypox in the city are increasing.

“So in San Francisco we’ve doubled the number of cases in the last week, we’re probably seeing the tip of the iceberg of people who are actually exposed and/or have the disease,” Dr Peter said. Chin-Hong, UCSF Infectious Disease Specialist.

Making the need for testing and vaccinations all the more critical. The CDC and Labcorp announced Wednesday that Labcorp will begin testing for monkeypox, doubling testing capacity nationwide. Labcorp will offer testing at its largest facility in the United States and can accept samples from anywhere in the country. Labcorp expects to be able to perform up to 10,000 tests per week.

VIDEO: CDC releases new details on monkeypox virus spread, what to keep in mind

“What that means is that it democratizes testing across very many sites,” Dr Chin-Hong said.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Aids Foundation says demand for monkeypox vaccines exceeds vaccine availability.

Dr. Tyler TerMeer is CEO of the San Francisco Aids Foundation.

Termeer says that in June, the foundation received 60 doses of the vaccine, which is nowhere near enough to provide vaccines to everyone who requests one.

RELATED: San Francisco Health Officials Warn of Possible Monkeypox Exposure After Pride Event

“On the first day alone, we received over 500 calls and have over 300 people on our waiting list. In order to best sort out those who call, we can only really help those who have been exposed at this time. or who believe they’ve been exposed to monkeypox virus,” Termeer said.

Vaccine supply is controlled at the federal level which, in turn, supplies each state.

“We’re really pushing the San Francisco AIDS Foundation to get at least 1,000 doses in the next 30 days,” Termeer said.

VIDEO: Multiple traces of monkeypox detected in Bay Area sewage over past week, officials say

Termeer says the San Francisco Aids Foundation is uniquely positioned to reach out to communities that may be at higher risk of contracting monkeypox and do so in a positive and compassionate way.

“I urge everyone not to stigmatize this disease. Right now it affects a single population, but in the monkeypox arc, it theoretically affects all segments of the population equally. “, said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong.

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