Health officials in the Bay Area are struggling to contain the monkeypox outbreak

Cases of monkeypox have more than doubled in the past week in California and the Bay Area, where health officials are joining a global battle to contain the outbreak as the virus still circulates within limited social networks.

California reported 95 cases of monkeypox as of Friday, up from 40 the previous week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 460 cases were reported across the country as of Friday, up from 150 the previous week.

More than two dozen confirmed or suspected cases have already been reported in the Bay Area, with 16 in San Francisco alone as of Friday, though that number is updated only once a week and is almost certainly higher by now, health officials said.

The infectious disease, a cousin of smallpox, manifests as skin lesions and is spread through intimate person-to-person contact. Most people recover completely without treatment, but monkeypox can cause severe illness in children and some other vulnerable groups. Even for those who are not seriously ill, it can take weeks to recover and cause discomfort and pain.

Almost all cases so far have been reported among gay or bisexual men, most of whom are believed to have been exposed through sexual or other intimate contact with someone who was infected. The risk to the general public remains very low, local and federal health officials say.

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