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L.A.’s eastside, including NELA, hit hard by monkeypox; at-risk people prioritized for vaccines

2022 August Editions Health More News

By T.A. Hendrickson

Nearly half of the 1,105 monkeypox cases in Los Angeles County for which geographic information is available have been reported in the health-service area that includes Boyle Heights, Eagle Rock, Echo Park, Highland Park, Hollywood, downtown Los Angeles, Los Feliz, Silver Lake and West Hollywood, the Los Angeles Times has reported.

About 12% of the county’s residents live in the region most affected by monkeypox, according to the Times.

The median age of people with confirmed monkeypox cases in L.A. County is 35.

The risk of monkeypox in L.A. County is increasing, with the cumulative number of cases more than doubling in the last two weeks. But the risk to the general population is very low, say health officials, noting that most of the cases for which gender and sexual orientation are known are among males who identify as gay or bisexual.

Monkeypox spreads primarily through prolonged, skin-to-skin contact with the lesions that characterize the disease. These lesions, which appear as pimples, bumps or blisters, can be hard to see or mistaken for other skin issues.

People eligible for the monkeypox vaccine in L.A. County include gay or bisexual men and transgender people who have had multiple or anonymous sex partners in the last 14 days. Residents who are immunocompromised, including those with advanced or controlled HIV, are also being prioritized for the vaccine.

County officials have also begun to make vaccinations available to high risk people in county jails and among homeless people.

For reliable information on monkeypox, including how to sign up online for vaccination, see the L.A. County information page here.    

People who have had monkeypox do not need the vaccine because they are immune, according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health.

Monkeypox can be very painful, but is rarely fatal. None of five deaths globally in the current outbreak have been in the United States.

Again, here is information from the L.A. County Department of Public Health on monkeypox, including how to get vaccinated, from the L.A. County Department of Public Health. 

T.A. Hendrickson
T.A. Hendrickson, a native of Eagle Rock, is the editor of the Boulevard Sentinel and a former member of the Editorial Board of the New York Times.