Monkeypox, or mpox

Last updated December 7, 2022 

Number of probable and confirmed cases of mpox reported in Santa Clara County: 208


Schedule an mpox Vaccination Appointment

Vax.sccgov.org

If you cannot get to a vaccine site because you do not have a ride, request free transportation.
 

What Is mpox?

Mpox is a rare disease that is caused by infection with mpox virus. If you think you might have symptoms of mpox, contact your doctor right away to be evaluated and tested. Learn more about mpox.

Mpox is primarily spreading through prolonged skin-on-skin contact, including sexual contact. Right now, mpox is disproportionately impacting gay and bisexual men and transgender people in Santa Clara County, but anyone can contract mpox. Activities that may increase a person’s risk for contracting mpox may include having sex or direct physical contact with multiple or new partners, attending crowded parties or clubs where sex is occurring on-premises, or having direct physical contact with someone who is feeling sick or has a rash. Taking steps to avoid prolonged skin-on-skin contact can reduce your risk of getting mpox.

Reminder: Ask your healthcare provider to test you for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections when testing for mpox, and ask about your options for HIV PrEP. If you are living with HIV, taking PrEP, have new sex partners, or have had an STI in the last year, ask your provider about mpox vaccination.

     

    FAQ 

       

      Given current adequate supply, there are no longer “eligibility” criteria; persons who request vaccination no longer have to attest to specific risk factors in order to get vaccinated.

      Per updated CDPH guidance 11/15/2022, vaccine providers may now offer mpox vaccine to:

      • any patients who MAY be at risk, and to
      • anyone who requests vaccination.
         

      Vaccination continues to be encouraged for individuals at increased risk of mpox, including:

      • Anyone living with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), especially those with a CD4 count <350, an unsuppressed HIV viral load, or an opportunistic infection
      • Any man or trans person who has sex with men or trans persons
      • People who use or are eligible for HIV Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP)
      • Sex workers, people who have survival sex or exchange sex, and people who have had sex at a commercial sex venue or public event
      • People who have had direct skin-to-skin contact with one or more people AND who know others in their community who have had mpox infection
      • People who have been diagnosed with a bacterial sexually transmitted infection (e.g., chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis) in the past 12 months
      • Sexual partners of the above groups 
      • People who anticipate experiencing the above risks, including individuals with multiple sex partners
      • Anyone who needs post-exposure prophylaxis due to exposure to mpox


      In addition, vaccinations should continue for:

      • Occupational groups recommended for vaccination by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
      • Healthcare workers who are who are likely to collect laboratory specimens from patients with MPOX (e.g., persons working in sexual health clinics or clinical settings that serve at-risk populations)

       

      • Eligible individuals can visit vax.sccgov.org to register for upcoming vaccine clinics operated by the County of Santa Clara. If you cannot get to a vaccine site because you do not have a ride, request free transportation.
      • Community partner organizations that already serve eligible individuals have been connecting those individuals to appointments at pop-up mpox vaccination sites operated by the County of Santa Clara Public Health Department. This approach prioritizes vaccinating people who are at highest risk first. The County's Office of LGBTQ Affairs and Public Health Department have partnered with many local organizations, including AACI, Bill Wilson Center, Colectivo Acción Latina de Ambiente, Project More, Billy DeFrank LGBTQ+ Community Center, Silicon Valley Pride, The Gender Health Center, Valley Homeless Health Care Program, Q Corner, and other groups. Local LGBTQ+ businesses are also informing and supporting activities.
      • Please speak with your own doctor about vaccine eligibility. The County has partnered with large healthcare systems to support them in delivering vaccines to their highest risk members. Many of the vaccine doses received by the County are being allocated to large healthcare systems for that purpose.
      • If you are eligible for vaccine because you were exposed to a person confirmed to be contagious with mpox, AND your level of exposure puts you at high risk of getting mpox, AND the contagious person gave us your name or contact information, you will be contacted and offered vaccination.

       

      County vaccine sites now provide intradermal injections of mpox Jynneos vaccine, as recommended by the FDA and the State of California. Intradermal means just under the skin. Read more about this transition here.

      The intradermal method of vaccine administration is authorized by the FDA for mpox vaccine. The State of California Department of Public Health requires this method to maximize available vaccine supply. It may cause a scar for some people, which we recognize can be stigmatizing. 

      The forearm is the preferred location for intradermal administration. If this is not an option – due to individual preference or fear of scarring – then the upper back or shoulder may be an option. Anyone with a keloid scar from a prior intradermal injection may also be eligible for subcutaneous injection, which means deep under the skin. Both methods are safe. All County vaccination sites offer these options, and other healthcare providers have been notified as well.

       

      Appointments for second doses of the Jynneos vaccine are available at vax.sccgov.org. People who get their medical care through large healthcare systems, may also be able to get a second dose through their regular doctor. You can get the second dose 28 days or more after you got the first dose. You do not need to restart the series if more than 28 days have passed since your first dose. The vaccine offers you the best protection when you get both doses. You may check vax.sccgov.org for appointments.

       

      • California law allows minors who are 12 years of age or older to consent to medical care related to the prevention of a sexually transmitted disease.  (Fam. Code, § 6926, subd. (b).)  Even though mpox can also be spread non-sexually, the County of Santa Clara Health Officer has determined that mpox is a sexually transmitted disease, since the majority of local mpox transmission appears to have occurred through sexual contact.
      • The County’s vaccination sites allow minors ages 12 or older to consent to mpox vaccination. However, minors should be aware that certain health information regarding their vaccination may be visible to anyone with legal access to their vaccination record. 

       

      • Mpox (Monkeypox) is transmitted by direct contact with the rash, sores, or body fluids of a person with the disease. Less commonly, it may be spread by contact with objects (clothes, sheets, towels) that have been in contact with the rash or fluids for an extended period and haven’t been cleaned. Sex is one of the ways that mpox can be spread, in part because of the close contact that occurs during sex. Researchers are still studying if mpox can be spread through semen or other body fluids. In the current mpox outbreak, the virus is spreading primarily through close personal contact, especially between sexual partners. However, any sustained skin-on-skin contact with someone who has mpox can spread the virus. The contact does not have to be exclusively intimate or sexual.

       

      • MPOX is believed to spread primarily through direct, skin-on-skin contact with the sores or scabs of an individual with MPOX or contact with mucous membranes like those in the mouth, genitals, and rectum with MPOX sores. It can also be spread through direct contact with body fluids of people with MPOX, such as drainage from skin sores or other fluids in locations with sores. MPOX has also been found in semen after infection. It is unknown to what extent other body fluids that are not in contact with sores might also spread MPOX. In rare circumstances, MPOX can also be spread through touching items, such as bedding, towels, and clothing, that previously touched for an extended period the sores or body fluids of people with MPOX. 

       

      • Yes. Contact with oral sores or oral contact with sores on the genitals or anus from a person with mpox can put you at risk of acquiring mpox. Researchers are still studying if contact with oral secretions or oral contact with other fluids without sores present could also transmit the virus. 

       

      • Condoms may reduce the risk of mpox through preventing contact with lesions on or inside the penis, vagina, rectum, or mouth. However, because mpox can cause rashes and sores on other parts of the body as well, it is best to abstain from any sexual or close contact with a person with mpox or to use other options to reduce risk of mpox during sex

       

      • Yes. If you’ve been diagnosed with mpox, talking to your current and recent partners about your diagnosis and directing them to information and care is an important way to prevent further spread of mpox in our community. If you would like assistance to confidentially or anonymously inform your partner(s) of your diagnosis, please call 408-885-4214, option 3 to talk to a mpox investigator.  

       

      • If you are experiencing severe pain, trouble urinating, rectal pain, sores on or near your eyes, or other highly concerning symptoms, please go to your nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1 and notify them of your concern for mpox.
      • Otherwise, contact your primary care doctor right away. You should only get tested for mpox if you are experiencing symptoms. Only your provider can give you the test result, not the Public Health Department. Isolate from others, including intimate partners and household members, while you wait for your test result.
      • Your doctor may also test you for sexually transmitted infections, since the symptoms may be similar.
        • If you do not have a doctor and have concerns about mpox, you may be tested following a medical evaluation. You can:
          • 1. Call Community Vaccination Line to make an appointment (408) 970-2000.
          • 2. Or you can walk into Valley Health Center Downtown’s Urgent Care Clinic to be evaluated for testing.
        • You can also be treated for other STIs and receive non-urgent, low-cost STI treatment and prevention sexual health services at the Crane Center. Learn more at GetTestedSCC.org.  

       

      • Contact your doctor. Your doctor can help assess if you were exposed to mpox and whether your exposure was high or low risk. Getting a vaccine soon after exposure – ideally within 4 days but up to 14 days after – can help prevent you from becoming infected with the mpox virus.
      • See your doctor immediately if you notice unexpected rashes and lesions or other symptoms. Signs of mpox can look like pimples or blisters and typically develop at the same time on any part of the body and last two to four weeks. Avoid sex or close contact with anyone, including household members, until you have been checked by a healthcare provider. Other symptoms to look out for include fever, headache, muscle and back ache, chills, swollen lymph nodes and tiredness.

       

      • Your doctor will provide you guidance about treatment and how to protect the people around you. 
      • On August 18, the state of California published Monkeypox Home Isolation Guidance for the General Public. Your doctor will tell you that:
        • You must initially isolate at home except to seek healthcare, ensure all lesions are covered, and wear a mask.
        • After resolution of fever and respiratory symptoms for 48 hours AND no new lesions have appeared for 48 hours AND any lesions that cannot be covered have completely healed:
          • You may resume limited activities outside the home with all lesions covered and wearing a mask.
          • You must avoid crowded settings and direct skin-to-skin contact.
          • You may return to work if it does not require physical contact with others, is not in a high-risk setting, and cannot be performed virtually.
        • You may resume all non-sexual activities once all lesions are fully healed.
        • Use of condoms during sexual activity is recommended for 12 weeks after infection due to unknown risk of prolonged shedding in genital excretions. 
      • Approval by the Public Health Department is not required to end isolation unless you work or reside in certain high-risk settings, such as shelters, health care facilities, long-term care facilities, jails, and childcare or early education facilities.

       

      The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department tracks data related to mpox to ensure resources reach those who need them the most.

      Mpox Cases

      Data as of December 6, 2022

      Santa Clara County Mpox Cases

      Total confirmed and probable cases 208

      Updated every Wednesday, excluding holidays.

      Probable mpox case: There is no suspicion of other recent Orthopoxvirus exposure and demonstration of the presence of:

      • Orthopoxvirus DNA by polymerase chain reaction of a clinic specimen or
      • Orthopoxvirus using immunohistochemical or electron microscopy testing methods or
      • Demonstration of detectable levels of anti-orthopoxvirus IgM antibody during the period of 4 to 56 days after rash onset.

      Confirmed mpox case:

      • Presence of Monkeypox virus DNA by polymerase chain reaction testing or Next-Generation sequencing of a clinical specimen or
      • Isolation of Monkeypox virus in culture from a clinical specimen.
         

      Mpox Cases in Santa Clara County by Date

      Data as of December 6, 2022

      This bar graph shows the number of Santa Clara County MPOX cases by episode date.  Episode dates range from 6/16/22 to 11/24/22, with the highest number of cases (6) reported on 7/28/2022 and 08/26/2022. Cases have continued to decline since 10/03/2022

      Updated every Wednesday, excluding holidays.

      ^ Values for the most recent 10 days are preliminary. Illnesses which began in this time period may not yet be reported.

      This graph demonstrates the total number of confirmed and probable mpox cases by episode date. Episode date is defined as the earliest of the following dates (if available):

      • Onset date
      • Diagnosis date
      • Date of death
      • Laboratory specimen collection date
      • Date report received


      Mpox Case Demographics

      Data as of December 7, 2022

      Age Group (years)                                                       Count %
      0-17 * *
      18-24 28 13.5%
      25-34 79 38.0%
      35-44 60 28.8%
      45-54 25 12.0%
      55-64 * *
      65+ 0 0.0%
      Unknown/Declined to answer 0 0.0%
      Race/Ethnicity                                                              Count %
      American Indian or Alaska Native 0 0.0%
      Asian 30 14.4%
      Black or African American 11 5.3%
      Hispanic or Latinx 111 53.4%
      Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander * *
      White 38 18.3%
      Multiple Races * *
      Other** 6 2.9%
      Unknown/Declined to answer 7 3.4%
      Self-reported Gender Identity                              Count %
      Female 5 2.4%
      Male 196 94.2%
      Trans female * *
      Trans male * *
      Unknown/Declined to answer 0 0.0%
      Self-reported Sexual Orientation Count %
      Bisexual 26 12.5%
      Gay, lesbian, or same-gender loving 141 67.8%
      Heterosexual/straight 26 12.5%
      Questioning, unsure, or patient doesn't know * *
      Unknown/Declined to answer 12 5.8%
      Orientation not listed * *

      This table will only be updated when there are at least 5 new mpox cases since the prior update. The updates will occur on Wednesdays, excluding holidays.

      This table shows the count and percent of confirmed and probable mpox cases by race/ethnicity, self-reported gender identity, and self-reported sexual orientation. The table was designed with input from stakeholders from affected communities.

      Data Notes

      * = Data are masked if counts are less than 5. Additional masking is used per data de-identification guidelines.

       ** = Includes people who reported “other” race and do not have ethnicity information.

      Source: County of Santa Clara Public Health Department, California Reportable Diseases Information Exchange (CalREDIE)

      Probable and confirmed mpox cases include individuals who are Santa Clara County residents and individuals who received their mpox test in Santa Clara County but have an unknown county of residence. If the individual’s county of residence is confirmed to be in Santa Clara County, their case information will remain on this page. If their county of residence is confirmed to be outside of Santa Clara County, their case information will be removed from this page.

      Data may fluctuate as County of Santa Clara receives updated information.

       

      Mpox in Santa Clara County

      The County of Santa Clara Public Health Department monitors for occurrence of any unusual disease in partnership with local medical providers and laboratories, who are required to report certain diseases and conditions to Public Health. The Public Health Department is working with local medical providers to increase their awareness of the symptoms of mpox, how to prevent transmission, how to test for mpox, and appropriate reporting to state and local health authorities. 

      Public Health is also working closely with local LGBTQ partners and organizations to share the latest information and resources.
       

      Cases of Mpox in Other Parts of the Country

      Information from the CDC and the State of California:

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