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San Francisco officials declare a state of emergency over monkeypox

In San Francisco, officials declared a state of emergency on Thursday, as the number of monkeypox cases in the city continue to rise.

Now that there has been a state of emergency declaration, city officials can put more resources toward the outbreak. As of Thursday afternoon, there are 281 known monkeypox cases in San Francisco; that's 30 percent of all cases reported in California. It is spreading primarily among gay and bisexual men and transgender and nonbinary people, the Los Angeles Times reports. Several LGBTQ activists have been calling on the city to do something for weeks, including getting doses of the monkeypox vaccine; earlier this week, U.S. health officials said that roughly 800,000 doses will soon be distributed across the country.

"We know that this virus impacts everyone equally — but we also know that those in our LGBTQ community are at greater risk right now," San Francisco Mayor London Breed said in a statement. "Many people in our LGBTQ community are scared and frustrated. This local emergency will allow us to continue to support our most at-risk, while also better preparing for what's to come."

Monkeypox is a virus that is in the same family as smallpox. Symptoms include fever, chills, body aches, and fatigues, with some people developing a rash and lesions on their hands and face. The outbreak was first detected in the United Kingdom in May.