Monkeypox hits Riverside County, surpassing 100 confirmed cases

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By Elaina Kleven

Monkey pox, a virus sharing the same family as small pox, has been spreading in the Southern California region with Riverside County experiencing approximately 100 confirmed cases.

The Riverside County Public Health Department has reported that out of the most recent confirmed monkeypox cases, five of those cases are from Coachella Valley and 2 from Riverside County. This would bring the total to approximately 94 cases in Riverside County. 

According to The Riverside University Health System, it is spread through any type of physical contact with someone who has the virus including arm to arm rubbing and shared surfaces.

The virus has gained traction in mass media, with many news outlets spreading awareness and arguably misinformation. Specifically the accusation of Monkey Pox specifically being a sexually trainsmitted desease through social media. Medical professionals also state monkeypox can be spread through any activities involving physical touch. Although sex is an activity that is highly likely to spread the virus, there are also other activities that one should consider dangerous for rapid spreading. Contraction of monkeypox may be caused by, but not limited to direct contact sports, health care workers, frequent gyms goers or spa and wellness workers.

While the mask mandate has been returned for the fall 2022 semester, The Riverside City College Board of Trustees has yet to enforce any new mandates based around monkeypox and the possible prevention of the virus spreading on campus. The Board recently removed all vaccine and mask requirements beginning the Fall 20202 semester. 

The Center for Disease Control states that those who are either high risk or high exposure can have the prevention vaccine, JYNNEOS. Most people are allowed to have the smallpox vaccine approved for preventing the impact of monkeypox, ACAM2000, but is stated to have “more side effects and contradictions.”The best prevention is through “rapid identification,” and consistently keeping one’s exposed skin sanitized whilst in public settings including high traffic areas on the RCC campus.

If exposed, immediately contact your healthcare provider or by emailing monkeypox@ruhealth.org or calling (951) 358-5107.

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