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Mpox cases spike in Los Angeles County

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health reported today a “concerning increase” of 10 new cases of mpox in the past two weeks, up from a countywide average of less than two cases per week the preceding several weeks.

Mpox — previously referred to as Monkeypox — is mainly spread through close contact with body fluids, sores, shared bedding or clothing, or respiratory droplets from kissing, coughing or sneezing. Symptoms include rash or sores that look like pimples or blisters on the face, body and genitals as well as fever, chills, headache, muscle aches or swelling of lymph nodes.

Early detection, testing and vaccination are vital to controlling the spread of the disease and protecting Los Angeles County residents, according to health officials.

Given the recent increase in cases, Public Health strongly recommended that anyone who develops symptoms consistent with mpox seek medical attention and get tested.

To help reduce the risk of getting and spreading mpox, health officials said individuals should limit their number of sexual partners and not have sex or other intimate contact if they or their partners have a new or unexplained rash or sores or feel sick until they see a health care provider.

It is also recommended that people make a habit of exchanging contact information with any new partner to allow for sexual health follow-up, if needed.

Health officials said condoms, gloves and handwashing can also help prevent the spread of the disease, and they warned against sharing towels, clothing, bedding, fetish gear, sex toys or toothbrushes.

Vaccination also is an important tool in preventing the spread of mpox, according to health officials. Jynneos is a two-dose vaccine developed to protect against mpox, and getting both doses provides the best protection.

The vaccine is available to anyone, and health officials said individuals who identify with any of the following subgroups are highly encouraged to get vaccinated:

  • Any man or transgender person who has sex with men or transgender people.
  • People of any gender or sexual orientation who have sex or intimate physical contact with others in association with a large public event or engage in commercial and/or transactional sex.
  • People living with HIV, especially people with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease.
  • Sexual partners of people in any of the above groups.

Public Health is working with health care providers, community organizations and other stakeholders to address the mpox resurgence as swiftly and effectively as possible. Enhanced surveillance, contact tracing and outbreak investigations are underway to identify potential sources of the infection and prevent further transmission.

Information about Public Health’s mobile vaccination units and sexual health clinics can be found at http://publichealth.lacounty.gov/chs/sexualhealthclinics/ and other walk-up vaccine clinics can be found at https://myturn.ca.gov/. For the most up-to-date information and resources, please visit ph.lacounty.gov/mpox or contact the Public Health Call Center at 1-833-540-0473.


Source: NBC Los Angeles

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