Riverside County officials have officially declared a health emergency over the monkeypox outbreak in the region.
The announcement comes as 9 new local cases are reported this Monday.
Monkeypox continues to spread.
An additional 9 cases were reported in Riverside County today.
“We have a treatment and we have a vaccine, but we don’t have enough vaccine to protect the entire community,” said county public health officer Dr. Geoffrey Leung.
A total of 87 men in the county have tested positive to date, 78 of the cases are from the Coachella Valley.
“In most cases, it is transmitted from skin to skin, when the skin is in contact,” said Dr. Leung.
In order to seek more support to contain the virus, county supervisors today voted to declare a state of emergency.
Dr. Geoffrey Leung reports that the proclamation communicates the seriousness of the problem and at the same time would help fight vaccine shortages.
“Then possibly with this statement it can help you order the vaccine,” Dr. Leung said.
Anyone can get the virus, but according to state figures, 91% of cases in California are among individuals who identify as gay or lesbian.
“That no community is going to be safe, if there is a community that is not safe,” said Executive Director Dr. Conrado Barzaga of the Desert Health District.
The Desert Health District is one of several entities in the Coachella Valley that have come together to demand a fair allocation of vaccines for the region.
“In order to prevent this transmission from spreading to other groups that are going to be at greater risk,” said Dr. Barzaga.
Dr. Barzaga explains that the state’s lack of awareness of the demographics in the Coachella Valley is a barrier to the community.
“If we pay very special attention today so that this community receives the vaccines and we can prevent the spread of monkeypox, then we will see that children, pregnant women, the elderly will be infected very soon,” he concluded. Dr. Barzaga.
Riverside County has a waiting list for the vaccine, for more information you can visit the next page.