Monkeypox: Push for federal help intensifies as patients isolate for 2-6 weeks from workplace

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ByJ.R. Stone via KGO logo
Tuesday, August 9, 2022
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The push to try and get more federal help with monkeypox is getting stronger as the virus spreads in California.

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- The push to try and get more federal help with the monkeypox virus is getting stronger.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors ratified the city's emergency declaration Monday afternoon.

California lawmakers will be talking about monkeypox in Sacramento Tuesday during the Senate Select Committee on monkeypox meeting.

Also Tuesday, San Francisco will begin administering some 10,000 vaccines it has received.

David Norman of San Francisco is almost fully recovered after getting monkeypox. He's says he's one of the lucky ones who healed quickly, just 17 days. Optimistic about his situation but upset over the virus response across the country.

RELATED: Here's what declaration of monkeypox as state of emergency means for California

"It took seven to eight days for me to get my positive test result back just through my normal primary care doctor. Right now there's no ready available test that I can get to prove to my employer, or even to just give myself some comfort that I am completely out of this," says Norman.

A rally was held outside the San Francisco federal building on Monday to demand that the government cut the red tape by getting more of the vaccine out there, improve testing, and make antiviral drugs like T-POXX, which Norman took, more readily available.

"After my first dose of taking it, the very next day I was in, I wasn't fully recovered obviously, but I was in a lot less pain and didn't have any new lesions and the lesions I had were getting smaller," says Norman.

The San Francisco Board of Supervisors ratified the city's public health emergency declaration Monday. The city's health officer in that meeting, just like protesters, pushing for more Federal help with a virus that can infect anyone, but one that has mostly impacted men who have sex with men and their sexual networks.

"Even though there is a federal declaration of an emergency, no additional appropriations of money to the states and local jurisdictions, so that remains a challenge," says San Francisco health officer Susan Philip.

RELATED: 7 ways to reduce your risk of monkeypox

No one in the U.S. has died from monkeypox but those at this rally say that shouldn't stop emergency action from the government.

"Death is not the only terrible outcome here because if you have to isolate for two to six weeks to wait for your lesions to disappear and resolve, I don't know a single person with six weeks of paid sick leave," said Vinny Eng of Safer Together SF Bay Area.

Norman used more than 30 sick hours in his first week of infection but worked remote at his HR job last week and will do the same this week. As for his health and the lesions he dealt with.

"I had a big one on my nose that will probably leave a scar but honestly I was in so much pain with the other places that they were, that is all I was focused on mitigating that pain," said Norman.

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