Just One Week After End of ‘Pride Month,’ Liberal Cities Are Monkeypox Hotspots

To paraphrase the old adage, “Pride Month” cometh before a rise in monkeypox cases. At least, that is the experience of San Francisco and New York City, both of which are grappling with spiking cases of the disease that is largely associated with the LGBT community, which marks June as “Pride Month.” New York had a nation-leading 119 cases as of Wednesday, according to the New York Post. San Francisco is at 40 cases, with local officials saying that is likely an undercount, the San Francisco Examiner reported. New York is avoiding a direct link between “Pride Month” and the monkeypox increase, even though cases went up 50 percent once the partying was over. “Anyone can get and spread monkeypox,” the city’s health department said. “The current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, so this community is currently at greater risk of exposure,” it admitted. The Examiner noted that “the vast majority of cases so far in San Francisco have been self-reported by gay and bisexual men,” adding that organizers of major “Pride Month” events warned attendees about the risk of infection. “In the last few weeks, we’ve seen cases of monkeypox at our clinic. We don’t want to scare you, but we’re now seeing cases on a regular basis. And we’re going to start seeing a lot more cases if we don’t act swiftly and boldly,” Dr. Tyler TerMeer, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation, said Tuesday. “It’s much more common than people suspect. We doubled in cases last week,” said Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at the University of California at San Francisco. Monkeypox is spread by direct skin-to-skin contact. It comes with flu-like symptoms and lesions or rashes that spread over the body. The current crop of infections has not been linked to any deaths as of yet. The outbreak has concerned the World Health Organization because 84 percent of the roughly 3,000 worldwide cases have been in Europe instead of the areas of West and Central Africa where monkeypox is most often found. “What makes the current outbreak especially concerning is the rapid, continuing spread into new countries and regions and the risk of further, sustained transmission into vulnerable populations including people that are immunocompromised, pregnant women and children,” WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said. In San Francicso, Chin-Hong said the city needs to ramp up testing and vaccination. “There should be a clear direction for men who have had exposure or have multiple sexual partners. It’s the usual risk factors for an STD, really,” said Monica Gandhi of UCSF and San Francisco General Hospital. “If we can vaccinate people quickly, maybe we can shut it down,” Gandhi said. “But if we don’t, it will get in our population.” This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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