SF residents want tougher response, contact tracing in monkeypox outbreak – NBC Bay Area

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San Francisco supervisors have officially approved a measure declaring monkeypox a health emergency in the city.

However, the health department is on the defensive about how the outbreak is being tracked and why contact tracing has not been implemented.

Protesters gathered at the Federal Building in San Francisco to demand the government step up its response as more than a third of all California cases are in the city.

Dr Grant Colfax told supervisors the tactic was not very effective in this outbreak and the Department of Public Health said they had attempted contact tracing.

“However, many people were unwilling or unable to share names and contact details of partners. This made it difficult to contact all known cases and due to lack of information did not prove to be one of the most effective strategies,” a statement read. “Our strategy changed about four weeks ago when we pivoted to encourage self-referral from Contacts.”

NBC Bay Area’s Raj Mathai spoke to Stanford infectious disease expert and epidemiology researcher Dr. Abraar Karan about the latest monkeypox outbreak.

District 6 Supervisor Matt Dorsey, who is HIV-positive, said in a perfect world the city would have had robust contact tracing, but said he understands why they made the decision to change tack.

“I’m happy with the response, but I also share the concerns,” he said. “We should do our best, but the responses from the board meeting satisfied me.”

UCSF epidemiologist Dr. George Rutherford led some of the contact tracing efforts during the AIDS epidemic and said he also understands why public health officials may have chosen this strategy. .

“You don’t want to invest a lot of resources into something that will have little or no return,” he explained. “But on the other hand, you have to try and you have this window of opportunity to get vaccines into the arms of known contacts.”

Some San Francisco residents rallied outside the city’s Federal Building to demand a tougher response and contact tracing during the monkeypox outbreak. Thom Jensen has the details on what health leaders have to say about it.

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