Can Nevada handle a monkeypox emergency? Las Vegas clinic shares concerns as state prepares

Published: Aug. 2, 2022 at 10:56 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - The Nevada Governor’s office tells FOX5 that it’s monitoring the growing number of monkeypox cases, as a local LGBTQ clinic worries that the window is closing to curb a surge in infections.

As California declared an emergency due to rising cases, Governor Steve Sisolak’s office issued the following statement to FOX5:

The chief medical officer of the Huntridge Clinic shared his concerns, as he sees more patients for monkeypox tests, more concerned residents are searching for a vaccine, and his clinic has detected some actual cases.

“The governor’s office, the public health department needs to take a much more aggressive approach to this. We need to break down those inequity barriers. If we just sit back and wait for this to become a problem. Once the horse has already left the barn, it’s really hard to get them back in. And we need to be very much more proactive,” said Rob Phoenix, concerned about the need for more public health messaging for prevention, such as limiting exposure, while vaccine access remains scarce.

SNHD advises all patients that are at high-risk to walk into the Decatur Road headquarters for a vaccine, even if they do not have an appointment. Those considered high-risk are those with exposure to a known monkeypox case or having multiple sexual partners of unknown status within the past two weeks.

Phoenix tells FOX5, he worries those who need a vaccine are already falling through the cracks.

“I have patients that email me, text me, call my office every single day in Nevada, in Clark County, working to get vaccinated. They’re all calling me back, texting me back and saying, there’s no appointments,” he said.