Los Angeles County health officials on Wednesday recommended that people at high risk for measles be fully vaccinated before upcoming gay pride events.
While only three new confirmed mpox cases have been reported in Los Angeles County since March 1, the recent cluster of at least 14 mpox cases reported in the Chicago area highlights the potential for mpox resurgence in the area. County Public Health Department.
The department strongly recommends that those at high risk be fully vaccinated with two doses of the mpox vaccine to prevent severe disease.
Monkeypox — or empox, as it’s commonly known in the medical and research community — is primarily transmitted through direct skin-to-skin contact during contact or sexual contact with an infected person. But the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials have noted that some people infected with the virus who have no symptoms can still transmit the virus for up to four days before showing symptoms.
According to the county health department, the following groups are considered to be at high risk for mpox:
- Any male or transgender person who has had sex with a male or transgender person;
- Persons of sexual or sexual orientation engaging in commercial and/or transactional sex or in association with a large public event;
- People living with HIV, especially people with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease;
- Sexual partners of people in the above groups.
Officials say the vaccine can prevent 70%-85% of the disease, and prevent severe cases. Second vaccinations can be given no matter how long after the first dose. People can choose to receive Empox subcutaneously (in the upper arm) or intradermally (under the skin on their arm or back).
Mepox vaccinations are free and available to anyone who requests them, regardless of insurance or immigration status. Vaccination locations can be found by visiting Myturn.ca.gov. Comprehensive mpox information, including vaccinations, testing and treatment, can be obtained by calling the public health call center at 833-540-0473, seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., or by visiting the public health website at ph.lacounty. gov/mpox