We are grateful to our friends at Oakland Acupuncture Project for the inspiration and some of the text included in this post.
As monkeypox was recently officially declared a public health emergency, we are posting some useful information and links to help everyone stay safe.
One key thing we wish to convey is this: If you have ANY new and unidentified rash, lesion, or sore, you will need to get this diagnosed by a physician before coming in to our clinic.
General Monkeypox information, such as what is it, what are the symptoms, how it is spread, treatments, vaccine, etc can be found on the excellent California Department of Pubic Health Monkeypox Q&A page. This page also links to the other resources.
This a fantastic clear post by an epidemiologist about how monkeypox spreads.
Here is a link to the CDC information page on monkeypox which is updated regularly.
About risk and stigma:
At this moment the data show that the largest affected demographic infected with monkeypox has been CIS/trans/NB people with penises who have sex with other people with penises, especially CIS men. Because of this data point many public health departments are focusing their vaccine campaigns on people in these groups. The City of San Francisco is also offering vaccines to anyone who does sex work. Many health departments seem to mostly be erroneously treating this outbreak as an STD, but this will most likely change in the near future. While it is important to understand and share demographic information in a public health context, it is difficult to do this while also protecting marginalized communities from stigmatization, shaming and prejudice. This article addresses the issue well.
What does all this mean for Sarana?
At this time the risk of contracting monkeypox at the clinic is very low because:
- Community spread in our area is still fairly low
- People stay dressed while receiving treatments
- We don’t have prolonged physical contact with people and don’t typically touch skin lesions
- We are continuing our COVID safety protocols, which should all also be helpful for further reducing the risk of monkeypox transmission
Here is a helpful infographic about levels of risk with various activities. (Right-click on the image and open in a new tab to see it larger)
We urge everyone to be extra diligent about self-screening each and every time they come in for an appointment and in particular be on the lookout for any unusual new skin lesions/eruptions. Please sanitize your hands when you arrive and after your session. If you prefer to bring your own freshly laundered sheet or towel to cover your recliner or table while you receive your treatment, you are most welcome to do so.
Thank you for your support and cooperation to help us keep everyone safe!