Monkey Pox Information and Precautions
August 5, 2022
Dear Vineyards Friends, Families & Staff,
We are facing a public health emergency. On August 1, California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency to combat the spread of monkeypox. Three days later, the administration of President Joe Biden declared a public health emergency at the federal level as well. The emergency declarations will help ensure we obtain the critical resources needed to combat the spread of this virus. While this outbreak is very different from the coronavirus pandemic, we have learned many lessons over the past two years to help us battle the spread of infectious diseases.
To date, we have learned of 1 possible case of confirmed monkeypox among Vineyards Healthcare Center. Any one who may have had high exposure risk to this person has been placed in the yellow zone where we can monitor them for 21 days from the date of exposure. Symptoms to look out for are fever, malaise, rash or swollen lymph nodes. If you see any signs or symptoms please report them to a charge nurse immediately.
Although it is a viral infection, monkeypox does not behave or transmit like COVID-19. Monkeypox is less contagious than COVID-19 and is largely spread by intimate contact, including kissing, hugging and sexual activity, between an infected or contagious individual and another person.
We want to reiterate that monkeypox can affect anyone. Currently, the vast majority of cases are in the social network of self-identified men who have sex with men, and they need the most support.
Public health officials at all levels are working to distribute the Jynneos vaccine to limit the spread from infectious individuals to others. Unfortunately, manufacturers have not produced vaccine supplies sufficient to meet the demand.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health, and Sonoma County Department of Health Services are distributing existing supplies and prioritizing distribution to those who have been exposed to someone with monkeypox or have a higher risk of being exposed to the virus. Again, most individuals in the general population are at low risk of exposure and infection.
Consistent with World Health Organization guidance, we recommend individuals who face the greatest risk consider limiting their number of intimate, skin to skin contacts, reconsider the risks of intimate contact with a new partner, and exchange contact details with any new partners to allow follow up if needed for the time being. These individual steps will lower their risk of infection and reduce the spread until sufficient vaccine supply is available to receive a dose of the Orthopox vaccine.
It is critical that public health officials, members of the health care provider community and others in our broader community support members of the LGBTQ community and recognize that they are facing the greatest risks of this disease at this time. While men who have sex with men currently face the greatest risk, a person’s sexuality and sexual orientation is not the route of transmission. Anyone who has direct contact, especially skin to skin contact, with an infected person can contract the disease.
The Vineyards Healthcare Center
How to protect yourself from monkeypox:
- Avoid close contact with anyone who has symptoms
- Avoid share bedding, towels or clothing with others who have symptoms
- Before having close, physical contact with others, talk to your partners about their health and any recent rashes or sores
- Consider limiting the number of intimate skin-to-skin encounters or events with large numbers of people where close skin to skin contact can occur
- Stay aware if traveling to countries where there are outbreaks
How to protect others:
If you have symptoms particularly a rash consistent with monkeypox, or if you have been in contact with someone who has been diagnosed with monkeypox:
- Stay home if you are feeling sick
- Contact a health care provider as soon as possible for an evaluation
- Avoid skin-to-skin, or close contact with others, including sexual contact, until a medical evaluation has been completed
- To the best of your ability, know how to contact your intimate partners so they can receive post exposure prophylaxis
- Inform sex partners about any symptoms you are experiencing
- Cover the rash with clean, dry, loose-fitting clothing
- Wear a well-fitted mask
- If you are contacted by public health officials, answer their confidential questions to help protect others who may have been exposed
More information about monkeypox can be found here: