Though California has declared a state of emergency over monkeypox, Riverside and San Bernardino counties haven’t taken that step.
Los Angeles County made the move Tuesday, Aug. 2, when the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors declared an emergency after monkeypox cases doubled to 260 in a week.
“As for the state of emergency in Riverside County, that is something that is being reviewed and a decision made when the circumstances are appropriate,” county health department spokesperson Jose Arballo Jr. said.
In San Bernardino County, spokesperson David Wert said Tuesday that “there has not been talk of declaring a state of emergency.”
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Monday, Aug. 1. In the Inland Empire, health officials have seen 37 probable or confirmed cases in Riverside and San Bernardino counties.
As of Monday, Aug. 1, Riverside County reported six new probable or confirmed monkeypox cases, Arballo Jr. said on Twitter. There were no additional cases reported Tuesday, Aug. 2.
All the cases have been seen in men who live in eastern Riverside County, between the ages of 20 and 70. There are 30 probable cases and four confirmed cases, he said.
San Bernardino County has three confirmed monkeypox cases, Wert said in an email. Its first case was reported Friday, July 22.
One case was found in a male Fontana resident, said Wert, who awaited information on the other two Tuesday afternoon.
Cases are considered probable until tested and confirmed by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab.
The United States has 6,326 confirmed cases, the latest CDC data show. After New York — which has 1,617 cases — California has the second-highest number of cases in the country, with 826.
In the Inland Empire, vaccines are available, but only for those at high risk of contracting monkeypox.
Riverside County has received 3,514 vaccine doses, with 75% of the doses being allocated to Borrego Health, Eisenhower Medical Center, Desert AIDS Project Health and Riverside University Health System Early Intervention Program Clinic and 25% for Riverside County’s public health department, Arballo said in an email.
“We continue to work on adding additional community partners to make our limited vaccine supply available more widely, as we also continue to advocate for more vaccine doses for our county,” Arballo said.
San Bernardino County has received about 450 doses of the vaccine from the California Department of Public Health, Wert said in an email.
The county has scheduled 68 people for vaccinations, with approximately 19 people in the county vaccinated, Wert said. There are about 140 vaccination appointments available for high-risk people this week at county health clinics.
The vaccine can prevent infection if given before or shortly after exposure to the virus, health officials said.
Gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men are at increased risk of contracting the virus, according to the CDC.
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 CDC.
Symptoms of monkeypox include a rash, bumps or blisters anywhere on the body. Other symptoms include fever, headaches, muscle aches and swollen lymph nodes.
If a person has symptoms, health officials suggest calling a doctor to get tested, staying at home, wearing a mask and covering sores, according to the California Department of Public Health.
For information, Riverside County residents can visit the health department’s website. San Bernardino County residents should visit its website. Anyone can call the Department of Public Health Communicable Disease Section at 800-722-4794.
City News Service contributed to this report.