There are currently 197 recorded or suspected cases of monkeypox in San Francisco — a 56 case increase over the same figure that was reported less than a week ago. And the most recent data about the spread of monkeypox shows that even though members of Latinx communities make up some 15% of SF's population, over 30% of all current monkeypox cases are within this group.
The present cases of monkeypox in the country are overwhelmingly among male members of the LGTBQIA+ community. In a study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, of the 528 confirmed cases reviewed — roughly a sixth of the total number of monkeypox cases in the United States as of publishing — 95% are believed to have been transmitted during sex between men, putting gay men in the most at-risk and vulnerable amid the spread of the disease that the World Health Organization (WHO) has now declared a global health emergency.
.@WHO acknowledgement that monkeypox is a global emergency only re-enforces that SF needs resources necessary to stop the spread, including testing, treatment & vax. We continue to advocate at federal & state level for resources. https://t.co/f197iEprJG pic.twitter.com/pvJqIZAbYw— SFDPH (@SF_DPH) July 23, 2022
In San Francisco, new data around the city's monkeypox communities has also uncovered that Latinx communities are disproportionately affected by the viral zoonotic disease.
"For us, that is another alarm that is sounding in the community that we are responding to," said Ivan Corado-Vega, Latino Task Force (LTF) manager, to ABC7. Over the past two years, the LTF has been an integral part in vaccinating underserved and at-risk communities in San Francisco against COVID-19, as well as offering accessible testing for the disease.
Now in the face of another health emergency, LTF is asking San Francisco's Department of Public Health to allocate monkeypox vaccines to them to help inoculate those very same communities they helped vaccinate against COVID-19.
But, alas, supply is still woefully limited; SPFDH estimates it needs at least 35,000 units of the two-dose Danish-make Jynneos vaccine for monkeypox to meet the current need and demand, though it's only received 7,700 units as of date.
The San Francisco's AID's Foundation CEO, Tyler TerMeer, is advocating not only increasing monkeypox vaccination among the Latinx community but also testing and treatment as well: "In public health crisis we need to be ensuring that we are using the appropriate equitable lens to ensure that information, education, and awareness is available in multiple languages."
Last week, 4,163 doses of monkeypox vaccine from the California Health Department's federal stockpile of vaccines were allocated to San Francisco, though it remains unclear when the next supply of doses will be given to the City; until enough supply of the vaccines are acquired, SFDPH will continue prioritizing first-dose monkeypox vaccinations.
For more information on monkeypox in SF, including eligibility for the vaccine, case counts, vaccine locations, and ways to avoid infection visit sf.gov/monkeypox.
Photo: A medical professional prepares a dose of the monkeypox vaccine on July 23, 2022 in London, England. The NHS is expanding its monkeypox vaccine rollout in London as monkeypox cases continue to increase in the capital. Monkeypox, a rare disease, is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)