SF and San Jose LATINOS get 2x more MONKEYPOX

San Francisco’s Latinos disproportionately affected by monkeypox. Read about San Jose below!

Latinos account for almost 30% of all cases in the city even though they make up 15% of the population, according to the San Francisco Public Health Department.

Health officials in San Francisco are raising awareness about the growing number of monkeypox cases, especially among the Latino population. The city is recommending that community members protect themselves amid a limited supply of vaccine doses.

“We know that there are more cases that are under-reported,” said Noel Sanchez, a spokesperson for the Public Health Department.

“In order for us to be able to control the further spread, we need more vaccines right now,” Sanchez said. “It is imperative that we vaccinate as many people as we can with the doses that we get.”

San Francisco had registered 215 cases as of Monday, July 24th.

California has recorded 356 cases, recent Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data shows. Close to 3,500 cases have been counted nationwide.

The city of San Francisco has ordered 35,000 doses from the state Public Health Department but has received only 7,814. The Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital and Trauma Center vaccine clinic closed Tuesday, citing a lack of available monkeypox doses. Other sites remain open with limited supplies, Sanchez said.


Santa Clara County Officials Say Latino Community Disproportionally Hit by Monkeypox.

A total of 39 monkeypox cases have been reported in Santa Clara County so far, and although the overall number remains small, 21 of those cases are among the Latino community.

Dr. Sara Cody and local health leaders held a press conference last Wednesday and said more than half of the local cases are among Hispanic or Latino gay and bisexual man, the same trend officials have seen in San Francisco.

A total of 39 monkeypox cases have been reported in Santa Clara County so far, and although the overall number remains small, 21 of those cases are among the Latino community.

In order to address the disproportionate impact, Dr. Cody said they are working with LGBTQ+ community organizations to reach the highest risk groups and connect them with available vaccinations.

Over 500 people have been vaccinated in the county in the past week and most of them were referred by organizations like Project More.


About Monkeypox:

It is a zoonotic viral disease (transmitted from animals to humans), identified in several apes in a laboratory in 1958. However, as the United Nations website explains, most animals susceptible to contracting the disease and then infecting people are rodents.

Symptoms usually include fever, severe headache, muscle aches, back pain, low energy, swollen lymph nodes, and skin rash or lesions.

The rash usually begins within the first day or three of the onset of fever. The lesions may be flat or slightly raised, filled with clear or yellowish fluid, and then crust, dry, and fall off. The number of lesions on an individual varies from a few to several thousand. The rash tends to occur on the face, palms of the hands, and soles of the feet. They can also be found in the mouth, genitals, and eyes.

Since 1970, human cases of monkeypox have been traced to 11 countries in Africa: Benin, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Nigeria, Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, and South Sudan.

Sporadic cases in non-endemic countries are from people who became infected while traveling to endemic countries. One outbreak was caused by contact with imported animals to people with whom they lived.


For more information on monkeypox in SF, including eligibility for the vaccine, case counts, vaccine locations, and ways to avoid infection visit sf.gov/monkeypox.

In May 2022, multiple cases of monkeypox were identified in several non-endemic countries. This is unusual for previous disease patterns.

There are currently 197 reported or suspected cases of monkeypox in San Francisco, for example, an increase of 56 patients from the same number reported less than a week ago.

According to local media, the most recent data on the spread of monkeypox shows that, although members of Latino communities represent about 15 percent of the SF population, more than 30 percent of all current monkeypox cases are within this group.

“For us, that is another alarm that is sounding in the community that we are responding to,” said Ivan Corado-Vega, Latino Task Force (LTF) manager, to ABC7.

Organizations like the LTF have put all their efforts into awareness and vaccination campaigns in underserved and at-risk communities in San Francisco against COVID.

“It feels like there’s less urgency and less communication compared to Covid-19,” Santiago Garzon, who works for the Instituto Familiar de la Raza, told Mission Local.

As Garzon explained, this is further evidence of poor communication when it comes to public health.

“We have a lot of people coming and asking us where we can get the vaccine,” Garzon said, noting that some of the people coming in are also sex workers or immunocompromised. “Not having enough information is one of the largest challenges we face.”

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