NewsDesk @bactiman63

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health (Public Health) is alerting residents and health care providers about a concerning increase in mpox cases, with six new cases reported in Los Angeles County in the past week, up from an average of less than one case per week during the preceding four weeks.

Los Angeles County map/Thadius856

Given the recent increase in cases, Public Health strongly recommends the following actions:

Testing: Anyone who develops symptoms consistent with mpox, such as rash, fever or swollen lymph nodes should seek medical attention and get tested. Health care providers should be aware of the possibility of mpox and promptly report suspected cases to Public Health for appropriate testing and interventions.

Vaccination: Mpox vaccination not only reduces the risk of severe illness but also helps to limit transmission. The vaccine is available to anyone, and individuals who identify with any of the following subgroups are highly encouraged to get vaccinated:

• Any man or transgender person who has sex with men or transgender persons

• Persons of any gender or sexual orientation who have sex or intimate physical contact with others in association with a large public event or engage in commercial and/or transactional sex

• Persons living with HIV, especially persons with uncontrolled or advanced HIV disease

• Sexual partners of people in any of the above groups

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People in high-risk groups are urged to get fully vaccinated with two doses for the best protection. Second doses can be given no matter how long it’s been since the first dose. Residents can choose to receive the mpox vaccine subcutaneously (in the upper arm) or intradermally (under the skin on their arm or back). Vaccine boosters are not recommended at this time.

Mpox (previously referred to as Monkeypox) is mainly spread through close contact with body fluids, sores, shared bedding or clothing or respiratory droplets (kissing, coughing, sneezing). Symptoms include rash or unusual sores that look like pimples or blisters on the face, body and genitals, fever, chills, headache, muscle aches or swelling of lymph nodes. Early detection, testing and vaccination are vital to controlling the spread of this disease and protecting the health of Los Angeles County residents.