SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Monkeypox vaccine clinics re-opened in San Francisco on Monday.
Nine-hundred-fifty vaccines were administered at San Francisco General Hospital, where a line started to form at 5:00 a.m. Questions are now being raised about how this particular monkeypox strain is spread, especially at large gatherings such as Dorey Alley, Folsom and Outside Lands, which kicks off this weekend.
Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, Infectious Disease Expert UCSF, broke it down into three levels of risk when it comes to the spread of monkeypox: high, medium and low. He credits the vaccine with being able to put more people in the low-risk group.
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From the start of the current monkeypox outbreak, Dr. Chin-Hong has said that prolonged skin-to-skin contact is the most common way that monkeypox is spread. “Intimate contact is very efficient because you’re making little cuts in the skin with the person who’s not infected and the virus from the open sore can enter very easily,” said Dr. Chin-Hong.
Another way that monkeypox is spread is through shared bedding and clothing. It’s not as likely, but still possible. “Usually with someone who’s had an open lesion, slept in the bedding and then it survives in that way with a high load, so I would call that like maybe medium,” said Dr. Chin-Hong.
Dr. Chin-Hong said monkeypox can only be spread from the time someone feels sick to the time their rash scabs off. Casual interactions such as a simple handshake are low-risk that would require very specific scenarios for spread.
“You could be shaking somebody’s hand, have a cut in your hand and the person has an open sore and they didn’t know it, or recognize it — that’s possible,” said Chin-Hong.
As far as events like Outside Lands, the doctor is more concerned about what happens behind closed doors, than he is about music lovers gathered in Golden Gate Park. “Risky activities are not in Outside Lands. It’s in the events or the intimate settings that people have or encounters they have after the event,” said Chin-Hong.
Dr. Chin-Hong said the vaccines administered Monday and last month will be a game-changer with monkeypox. He said the shot will abort the disease completely if taken within the first four days of being infected.