Monkeypox: New York declares state of emergency amid rapidly rising number of cases

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If, according to the WHO, Europe was particularly hard hit by the monkeypox epidemic, the United States still recorded 5,189 cases last Friday. The state of New York and the city of San Francisco considered the outbreak an imminent public health threat and declared a state of emergency. With this announcement, the Governor hopes to increase the availability of vaccines in the Territory.

Last week, the WHO declared the highest level of alert – worldwide – due to the rapid rise in cases of monkeypox. There are also more local concerns, especially in the United States, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported 5,189 cases on July 29, 2022. That same day, New York State and the City of San Francisco then decided to declare a state of emergency.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said in an official statement that the warning would last until August 28. To date, 1,345 cases of monkeypox have been reported in New York, making it the most affected state in the country. The epidemic in the city has not stopped, as New York had 639 confirmed cases as of July 19, and in 10 days the number more than doubled.

Goal: “Access to Additional State Refunds to Protect All New Yorkers.”

“This executive order allows us to respond faster and allows health professionals to take additional steps to help vaccinate more New Yorkers,” Hochul said on Twitter last Friday. Dr. Mary T. Bassett, Health Commissioner, added in a statement that with the decision, “local health departments will be able to access additional state reimbursements to protect all New Yorkers and limit the spread of monkeypox in communities.”

The state was originally to receive more than 60,000 doses of the Jynneos vaccine to prevent smallpox, but it will also be used against monkeypox. Nevertheless, the demand for vaccines remains very high, especially among homosexuals and bisexuals, who account for 98% of the world’s monkeypox cases, according to a recent study on the subject. The city of Manhattan, for example, would receive only 10% of the doses, while 30% of infections are concentrated in it.

Last week, Le Monde reported that New York’s gay community was mobilizing in the face of a monkeypox outbreak. Because stigma and discrimination are dangerous, the city’s health department says “anyone can get infected and pass on monkeypox.” However, “if you are a man who has sex with men and has multiple or anonymous sexual partners, the chances of you being exposed are high,” the city’s website warns.

Globally, more than 18,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported since early May in 78 countries. The WHO director specified that 70% of the cases were concentrated in Europe and 25% in the Americas.

Global incidence of monkeypox: the larger the circle, the larger the number of cases. © Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

On an even more local scale, San Francisco has become the first major U.S. city to have a health emergency that goes into effect today. Last Wednesday, 261 cases of monkeypox were reported in the California city.

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