Fresno County is upping its response to monkeypox

Fresno, Calif. (KSEE/KGPE) – The Fresno County Department of Public Health continues monitoring the monkeypox outbreak.

dr Rais Vohra says there are more resources to tackle the disease than there were with covid.

“We have vaccines, we have antivirals much, much faster than we did with covid. A lot of the people that we’re seeing – in fact, all of the people that we’re seeing – are not hospitalized, unlike covid. They’re recovering safely at home,” he said.

There are 13 cases reported in Fresno County so far. The illness usually lasts 2 to 4 weeks, and symptoms are similar to but milder than the symptoms of smallpox. The main difference is that monkeypox causes lymph nodes to swell. dr Vohra explains who’s at high risk of getting infected.

“Men who have sex with men, people with multiple sexual partners, people that have had recent sexually transmitted diseases like HIV or other sexually transmitted diseases.” said dr Vohra.

You can also get it if you come into contact with contaminated materials, like towels or bedding.

The state has allocated more monkeypox vaccines to the county – 730 doses. Officials say that supply can go a long way because the State is now recommending reducing the dose.

“One vial used to be one dose for one individual. One vial now is five doses for five separate individuals,” said Joe Prado with Public Health.

It’s also applied differently.

“The practitioner utilizes a thinner needle, they place it right underneath the skin, and so it’s a reduced amount of volume of the vaccine,” said Prado.

As of Thursday morning, 207 doses had been administered. Prado said the department is also planning a larger-scale vaccination clinic next week, pending funding approval by the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Public Health is working with other partners to educate the community and clear up misconceptions that can be spread very easily.

“The transmission of it kind of involves a more intimate approach, such as sexual relations with someone that currently is positive for monkeypox,” said Julio Romero with the Fresno Economic Opportunities Commission (EOC).

Men who have sex with men and have been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease in recent months qualify for the vaccine. People who have close contact with a monkeypox patient can also get the shot.

For a more detailed list of eligibility, visit:

https://www.co.fresno.ca.us/home/showpublisheddocument/67458/637946849674530000

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