Syringe with monkeypox
A nurse holds a syringe with Mpox vaccine. Courtesy County News Center

San Diego County on Thursday encouraged residents to be vaccinated for Mpox, with 11 new cases recorded by public health officials so far this month.

As of Saturday, the total number of cases in the county stands at 492 since cases first emerged in July 2022. The local rise in cases mirrored increases across the state.

According to a county statement, Mpox, formerly known as monkeypox, is a virus spread through close physical contact with someone who has Mpox. Infections usually cause rashes or sores throughout the body that can last for two to four weeks.

Rashes can happen in sensitive areas and can be extremely painful. Often, but not always, people with Mpox experience flu-like symptoms before the rash or sores appear.

During last summer’s global outbreak, Mpox as found mostly in the LBGTQ+ community, but anyone can get Mpox.

“The Mpox vaccine is widely available, safe and an effective way to lower your risk of getting Mpox or lower the severity of your symptoms if you do get sick,” said County Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten. “It’s important that people at risk are also practicing other safety measures and notifying their partner or partners of any recent illness or rashes.”

The JYNNEOS vaccine is a two-dose injection that helps prevent Mpox when given before or shortly after exposure to the virus. It is available to anyone 16 years and older without parental consent.

It is also available for people 16 years of age and younger, with parental consent.

In San Diego County nearly 16,000 people have received at least one dose of the JYNNEOS vaccine. No-cost vaccines, including second doses, are widely available from healthcare providers and public health clinics.

People unsure of where to get a shot can call 2-1-1 or make an appointment on

To avoid the illness, county public health officials urge those at risk to limit contact with people with sores or symptoms, avoid touching items someone with the illness has recently handled, along with practicing good hygiene and washing hands.

City News Service