SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Dozens of San Franciscans lined up outside of the monkeypox vaccine clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital early Monday, hoping to get a dose as the city entered day one of its health emergency triggered by a growing outbreak.
Across the city, especially in the LGBTQ+ community, fears were mounting as the number of confirmed cases grew. On Thursday, city officials declared a medical emergency that began Monday.
At the time, there were 261 confirmed cases of monkeypox in San Francisco. There were reportedly 799 cases in California and over 4,600 cases in the United States.
"San Francisco is an epicenter for the country," said San Francisco Public Health Officer Dr. Susan Philip. "Thirty percent of all cases in California are in San Francisco."
"We know that this virus impacts everyone equally – but we also know that those in our LGBTQ community are at greater risk right now," San Francisco Mayor London Breed added. "Many people in our LGBTQ community are scared and frustrated. This local emergency will allow us to continue to support our most at-risk, while also better preparing for what's to come."
Some of those gathered to celebrate the Dore Alley Fair over the weekend said they were taking precautions.
"I'm trying to keep my distance," said attendee Chris Cashion. " If I get it, I'll have deal with it and I'm not going to let it defeat me."
As monkeypox cases continued to increase in San Francisco, the demand for vaccine remained high. San Francisco health officials initially requested 35,000 doses of the monkeypox vaccine from state and federal officials to meet the needs of San Franciscans.
Including last week's allocation, to date the city has only received approximately 12,000 doses.
So the line began growing in the early morning hours Monday outside the clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and stretched down the block. It was not immediately known how long the supply would last.
In the meantime there are other precautions you can take.
Monkeypox spreads through prolonged skin-to-skin contact, which includes sex, kissing, breathing at very close range, and sharing bedding and clothing. While SFDPH continues to advocate for more vaccines, here are some additional preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of infection.
- Consider limiting opportunities that put you in close skin-to-skin contact with others
- Stay home if you do not feel well and encourage your friends to do the same
- Call your doctor if you are experiencing a rash or sores
- Talk with your sexual partners about yours and their health
If you have symptoms:
- Talk to a healthcare provider as soon as possible
- Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others
- Avoid sharing your bed while you have the rash
- Do your best to keep a healthy distance from others
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