More than 150 cases have been reported so far in the state, and most are in San Francisco or Los Angeles.
By now you’ve probably heard of monkeypox, the latest disease making headlines as it spreads across the world.
Usually confined to Africa, the virus has recently taken root in countries that hadn’t been vulnerable in the past, including the United States. More than 1,000 cases have been detected nationwide this year, according to the C.D.C.
Over two years into the coronavirus pandemic, we’re all exhausted by the threat of infectious diseases. But let’s be clear: Monkeypox is unlikely to become the next Covid-19, as my colleague Knvul Sheikh explains. It’s not as contagious, and we’ve had tests and vaccines for the virus for years.
Still, health officials in California want people to be aware of what’s going on with monkeypox and to know how to stay safe.
As of Tuesday, the most recent day for which data is available, 186 confirmed or suspected cases of monkeypox have been reported in California. The counties with the most cases are:
Monkeypox is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox, but it is typically a much more mild condition, experts say. Symptoms include a fever, headache, back and muscle aches, exhaustion and a painful rash with pustules that typically first appear on the palms or soles of the feet. It is rarely fatal.
The virus spreads through contact with the rash lesions, intimate touching such as kissing, or living with someone who has monkeypox. A majority of cases this year have been in young men, many of whom self-identify as men who have sex with men.
Monkeypox vaccines are in short supply, so officials in many places are limiting them to people who’ve tested positive for monkeypox or have been exposed.
That’s the case in San Francisco, home to more gay, bisexual and transgender men per capita than anywhere in the country. There, officials are begging the federal government for additional doses, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. “Would monkeypox receive a stronger response if it were not primarily affecting queer folks?” a county supervisor asked this week.
Though still rare, monkeypox cases are occurring on a higher per capita basis in San Francisco than elsewhere in the state. Los Angeles County may have the most cases, but it trails Sacramento and Alameda when adjusted for population.
If you’re not eligible for a vaccine, the C.D.C. recommends some common sense steps to avoid catching the virus: Avoid close contact with people with monkeypox, and with people with a rash that looks like monkeypox. Also, wash your hands often.
The U.S. may be losing the fight against monkeypox, scientists say.
“You do not want this” virus: A California man with monkeypox urges others to get vaccinated, from CNN.
How experts are thinking about monkeypox.
The rest of the news
Hotel California: Glenn Horowitz, a New York rare-book dealer, and two other men are accused of conspiring to sell Don Henley’s notes, including the words to “Hotel California.”
Abortion pills: University of California and Cal State campuses will start providing abortion pills beginning Jan. 1 under a new state law, CalMatters reports.
Newsom for president?: Gov. Gavin Newsom is tapping into liberal fury nationwide and sparking talk of a presidential run, The Washington Post reports.
Water usage: Los Angeles’s water usage is at a record low, down 9 percent, after unprecedented water restrictions, LAist reports.
U.S.C. scandals: The New York Times reviewed a new nonfiction book about editors at The Los Angeles Times who were reluctant to publish reporting that would portray U.S.C. and its top fund-raisers in a negative light.
Reward: The 7-Eleven convenience store chain offered $100,000 leading to the arrest and conviction of a masked gunman suspected of killing two people and injuring three while robbing six Southern California stores, The Associated Press reports.
Yosemite wildfire: The largest grove of giant sequoias in Yosemite National Park remained closed as firefighters battled a blaze that threatened the trees, The Associated Press reports.
Fresno State library: The California State University Board of Trustees approved removing Henry Madden’s name from Fresno State’s University Library after an investigation found he held anti-Semitic views, The Fresno Bee reports.
Death of psychedelic pioneer: Ann Shulgin, a pioneer in the use of psychedelic drugs in therapy, has died at 91, The Associated Press reports.
Cannabis sales: A plan to allow marijuana dispensaries in parts of Sacramento County was nixed, The Sacramento Bee reports.
What we’re eating
Fresh strawberry pie.
Where we’re traveling
Today’s tip comes from Winnie Arnn:
“Balboa Park is truly the Jewel of San Diego every season of the year, but it really livens up in summer. The Natural History Museum stays open on Friday nights and one can get drinks on the roof. The carousel and children’s train is open daily, not just on weekends, and world famous Zoo has night time hours and opportunities to see the animals after dark.
The Spreckels Organ Pavilion is my favorite of all. The organ — the world’s largest outdoor pipe organ — has free concerts on the weekends. But the time to head to the park is on a weekday: every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evenings, bands perform in that gorgeous setting. This year’s first was an Elvis tribute band. The music ranges from jazz to country to big band era and we always go to hear the Navy Band and the Marine band — always exceptional with great vocalists as well.
Balboa Park — what’s not to love?”
Tell us about your favorite places to visit in California. Email your suggestions to [email protected]. We’ll be sharing more in upcoming editions of the newsletter.
And before you go, some good news
A new 14-acre park, with stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and downtown San Francisco, opens on Sunday.
Built on top of highway tunnels, Tunnel Tops Park is the newest attraction in the Presidio, a San Francisco national park site. Its long-awaited opening day celebration will feature a number of food trucks and live events.
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back tomorrow. — Soumya
P.S. Here’s today’s Mini Crossword, and a clue: One taking off regularly for work? (5 letters).
Matthew Brownstein and Briana Scalia contributed to California Today. You can reach the team at [email protected].