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Los Angeles health officials warn of monkeypox outbreak spreading among gay men as cases rise to 22

Los Angeles records 22 monkey pox cases after Pride events as health officials say the outbreak is rampant among the gay community.

“Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, but some of the recently identified cases have involved gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men who have attended major events where monkeypox exposure may have occurred,” according to the Los Angeles Department of public. Health in a statement.

The warning comes after a month of Pride celebrations in the city, including Pride in the Park on June 11, a concert that attracted more than 20,000 people and included a performance by Christina Aguilera and the city’s parade that took place on June 12.

According to the Los Angeles Times, thousands of people lined the city’s streets to celebrate the parade’s return after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

On June 2, there were only three cases of monkeypox in all of California, NBC News said at the time.

There are now 51 reported cases of monkeypox in California and 199 cases nationwide, according to the CDC.

LA is now offering the JYNNEOS vaccine to “individuals at higher risk of monkey pox.”

JYNNEOS is a vaccine for the treatment of smallpox and monkeypox that was first approved for use in the US by the Federal Drug Administration in 2019.

New York City began rolling out the vaccine in preparation for their Pride celebrations last Thursday. There are 35 reported cases in New York State.

Most early cases in the US were in people who had just returned from a trip abroad. But the disease has spread rapidly, especially among gay men.

Health officials worldwide have already warned that there is a spike in monkey pox cases in male gay and bisexual communities.

Monkeypox – native to West Africa – has now been detected more than 3,000 times in 40 countries where it is not normally found this year.

The map above shows the spread of monkey pox in the US.  The virus has now been detected in 24 states.  Previously New York was the epicenter of the outbreak, but it has now been surpassed by California

The map above shows the spread of monkey pox in the US. The virus has now been detected in 24 states. Previously New York was the epicenter of the outbreak, but it has now been surpassed by California

Los Angeles revelers enjoyed the Pride parade earlier in June 2022.  After the celebration, health officials warned that recent cases in the city

Los Angeles revelers enjoyed the Pride parade earlier in June 2022. After the celebration, health officials warned that recent cases in the city “have been identified among gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men attending major events”

Like New York City, City of Los Angeles offers JYNNEOS vaccine to 'individuals at higher risk of monkeypox'

Like New York City, City of Los Angeles offers JYNNEOS vaccine to ‘individuals at higher risk of monkeypox’

The theme of this year's Los Angeles Pride Parade was 'Love Your Pride'

The theme of this year’s Los Angeles Pride Parade was ‘Love Your Pride’

The tropical disease is mainly spread through physical contact with contagious skin rashes, but in rare cases can also be transmitted through ‘persistent’ face-to-face contact.

Many patients have a rash on their genital area and anus as the first warning sign before the disease spreads to the rest of the body.

It can take up to four weeks to get better from the disease, with most cases being mild and going away on their own.

A person remains contagious until the rash is scratched away and eventually fell off.

In May 2022, Andy Seale, a strategy consultant with the World Health Organization, was quoted by saying it’s important for people to celebrate Pride events as normal.

He said: “It’s important that people who want to go out and celebrate gay pride, LGBTQ+ pride, keep going and plan to.”

Seale also said: ‘Since this is not a gay disease, the transmission routes are the same for everyone. The advice is about the same for everyone.’

Also in May 2022, Dr. David Heymann, who previously headed the WHO’s emergency department, told The Associated Press that the main theory to explain the spread of the disease was sexual transmission at raves in Spain and Belgium.

“We know that monkeypox can spread when there is close contact with the lesions of someone who is infected, and it seems that sexual contact has now enhanced that transmission,” Heymann said.

Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person and requires the exchange of bodily fluids or prolonged exposure to someone who already has the virus

Monkeypox does not spread easily from person to person and requires the exchange of bodily fluids or prolonged exposure to someone who already has the virus

No deaths have been recorded during the monkey pox outbreak in Europe and the US in 2022

No deaths have been recorded during the monkey pox outbreak in Europe and the US in 2022

Just days before Pride events kicked off in New York City, 'risky' gay and bisexual men were offered the vaccine

Just days before Pride events kicked off in New York City, ‘risky’ gay and bisexual men were offered the vaccine

This week, the WHO stopped declaring Monkeypox a global health emergency, but said the situation would be reviewed next month.

US steps up monkey pox testing to speed up diagnosis

The Biden administration has begun sending monkey pox tests to commercial labs in an effort to speed up the diagnosis of suspected infections.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) send swabs to labs including Aegis Science, Labcorp, Mayo Clinic Laboratories, Quest Diagnostics and Sonic Healthcare.

It said this would greatly increase the country’s capacity to test for monkeypox.

Previously, testing was largely limited to public health labs, which together have a capacity of about 8,000 tests per week.

“All Americans should be concerned about monkey pox cases,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

“Fortunately, we now have the resources to fight and treat cases in America.

“By drastically expanding the number of test locations across the country, we are making it possible for everyone who needs to be tested.”

WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said he was deeply concerned about the outbreak.

“I am very concerned about the monkeypox outbreak, this is clearly an evolving health threat that my colleagues and I in the WHO secretariat are following very closely,” Tedros said.

The ‘global emergency’ label currently only applies to the coronavirus pandemic and ongoing efforts to eradicate polio, and the UN agency has withdrawn from applying to the monkeypox outbreak following advice from a meeting of international experts. .

New York City health chiefs were criticized for their “last minute” rollout of monkeypox vaccines just two days before Friday’s Pride weekend in the city — when dozens of walk-ins were turned down on the second day of inoculations.

Last Thursday, the city became the first in the US to offer the shot to the most “risky” gay or bisexual men.

But within three hours of the disc’s launch, it was forced to suspend the walk-ins due to ‘high demand’, and all appointments were booked until Monday.

At least 100 men lined up for the jab last Thursday, and many had no bookings arriving until two hours before the clinic opened. But all walk-ins were rejected and told to check online for new slots.

Chris LeBron, a Democratic candidate for the New York State Assembly, rejected the “pop-up” inoculation and criticized the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Ashwin Vasan, for failing to show up to check vaccinations.

Men waiting to be vaccinated today said it was “ridiculous” that only 1,000 doses were available in a city of eight million. Others criticized health officials for giving “conflicting” information about how to get a shot.

Many of those who received the vaccine today expressed relief, saying they could now safely enjoy the Pride weekend – which is expected to draw more than two million people. One man even left the clinic and said to a friend, “We’ll see tonight!”

No deaths have been recorded during the 2022 outbreak, but health officials warn it could spread to more vulnerable populations if the outbreak is not contained.

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