LA City Council Ratifies Local Monkeypox Emergency

LA City Council Ratifies Local Monkeypox Emergency
Health workers sit at a check-in table at a pop-up monkeypox vaccination clinic which opened today by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health at the West Hollywood Library in West Hollywood, Calif. on August 3, 2022 (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
City News Service

LOS ANGELES—The Los Angeles City Council Aug. 9 ratified a declaration of local emergency issued last week by Mayor Eric Garcetti for the monkeypox outbreak.

The order allows the city to be prepared as vaccine availability increases and move quickly as circumstances evolve, according to a statement by Garcetti last week.

Los Angeles County declared a local emergency in response to the outbreak last week. The state and the federal government have also issued such declarations.

“The city is already supporting the county’s vaccination efforts at city facilities and additional sites are expected to open in the coming days,” Garcetti said. “The declaration is about being prepared, not cause for alarm.”

Local health officials said there were 616 confirmed or presumed cases in L.A. County as of Aug. 8, up from about 500 on Friday. The vast majority of patients are men, with most being members of the LGBT community, according to the county.

Monkeypox is generally spread through intimate skin-to-skin contact, resulting from infectious rashes and scabs, though respiratory secretions and bodily fluids exchanged during extended physical episodes—such as sexual intercourse—can also lead to transmission, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

It can also be transmitted through the sharing of contaminated items such as bedding and towels.

Symptoms include fresh pimples, blisters, rashes, fever, and fatigue.

According to health officials, the vaccine can prevent infection if given before or shortly after exposure to the virus.