Hospitals brace for monkeypox, COVID, flu triple threat

There are now 786 confirmed or probable monkeypox cases in California. The Bay Area continues to be a hot spot for infection with 257 cases in San Francisco alone.

COVID numbers also continue to climb and flu season is about to make a return. Hospitals are preparing for outbreaks as we approach the fall and winter months.

"Our regular winter is a lot of demand, period. But a winter with influenza, monkeypox, and COVID together - I can’t even imagine what that might look like." Said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease expert at UCSF. He said he’s concerned about the strain these viruses could put on hospitals and does not want to have health care staff getting burnt out.

So far, there have been 11 short term monkeypox hospitalizations in California. State health officials have not yet declared monkeypox a state medical emergency.

"Monkeypox is mainly an outpatient disease," said Chin-Hong. "So there’s a lot of suffering but luckily people don’t get so sick they will be needing hospitalizations. COVID is very, very different. I’m much more worried about COVID."

MORE: Monkeypox not yet declared statewide medical emergency

Doctors say the best thing to do is make sure you are up-to-date on your COVID booster and be sure to get a flu shot. Monkeypox vaccine has been in short supply but the state is expected to get another shipment soon. So far, California has received 37-thousand doses with another 72,000 on the way.

The monkeypox vaccine clinic at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital reopens Monday from 8 a.m. to Noon.

Monkeypox information from SF Dept. of Public Health