San Bernardino County Health Advisory: Expanded Monkeypox Vaccination Availability

Tri-Community NewsPlus

The following health advisory was issued by the San Bernardino County Department of Public Heath on August 22, 2022.

Monkeypox continues to be a high priority in San Bernardino County with a total of 33 cases so far. Although there are no plans to declare monkeypox a public health emergency at this time, the County continues to expand monkeypox availability and resources.

“San Bernardino County is aware of neighboring declarations due to climbing case counts, however we are vigilant and actively planning to contain the outbreak which includes educating the public and clinicians, conducting contact tracing to locate and vaccinating those exposed to monkeypox,” said Dr. Sharon Wang, Deputy Health Officer.

At this time, the vaccine is being prioritized for individuals with known or suspected exposure to the monkeypox virus and individuals who are at high risk for monkeypox exposure. As vaccine supply increases, the County will reach out to additional groups who have requested the vaccine.

“The risk of monkeypox to the general public is extremely low,” said Dr. Wang.

Monkeypox spreads primarily through direct contact with infectious sores, scabs, or body fluids, especially as a result of close personal contact. Monkeypox can spread through touching materials used by a person with Monkeypox that haven’t been cleaned, such as clothing and bedding. It can also spread by respiratory secretions during prolonged, close, face-to-face contact.

There are number of ways to prevent the spread of Monkeypox, including:

  • Always talking to your sexual partner/s about any recent illness and being aware of new or unexplained sores or rashes on your body or your partner’s body, including on the genital areas
  • Avoiding close contact with people with symptoms like sores or rashes
  • Practicing good hand hygiene
  • People who become infected should isolate until their symptoms are improving or have gone away completely. Rash should always be well covered until completely healed.
  • Using appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) (like a mask, gown, and gloves) when caring for others with symptoms
  • Avoiding contact with infected materials contaminated with the virus
  • Avoiding contact with infected animals

If you have a new or an unexplained rash or other symptoms, contact your healthcare provider for further testing and evaluation. If you do not have a healthcare provider, visit a public health clinic near you.

Individuals who are interested in receiving a vaccine can fill out the vaccine interest form at the following link: http://tinyurl.com/MPOXVaccine. Once the form has been submitted, a Public Health professional will contact you.

To learn more about Monkeypox, visit wp.sbcounty.gov/dph/monkeypox or call the Communicable Disease Section at 1 (800) 722-4794.

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