California declares state of emergency as monkeypox spread

Sacramento — California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency Monday to address an outbreak of monkeypox, making the state the third in four days to step up the public health response to the rapidly-spreading disease.

Announcement This was followed by New York on Friday and Illinois on Monday and similar actions by the city San Francisco on Thursday. New York Mayor Eric Adams also declared a local emergency on Monday.

“California is working urgently at all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, taking advantage of our strong testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that vaccines, treatments and Those most at risk for outreach are our focus,” said Mr. Newsom said in a statement.

“We will continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about risk mitigation, and fight stigma by standing with the LGBTQ community,” he said.

The moves to help streamline and coordinate the monkeypox response among different levels of government come amid increasingly vocal complaints about a spurt in infections as well as the public health response.

There have been nearly 6,000 cases of monkeypox nationally since May. According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionAbout half of them were reported in California, Illinois and New York. The World Health Organization has already declared this virus a global health emergency.

There have been no deaths in the United States so far, and monkeypox is rarely fatal, but the rash caused by the virus causes intense pain in some patients. Health officials say the virus is mainly transmitted through prolonged physical contact, but it can also be transmitted through shared linens and clothing.

Men who have sex with men make up about 99 percent of confirmed cases so far. Public health officials emphasize that the virus can be spread to anyone who has had prolonged skin-to-skin contact with a person.

The number of US cases is among the highest in the world, and health officials say the figure is almost certainly lower.

Federal health officials say they have not yet declared a national health emergency because monkeypox is a known disease with tests, vaccines and treatments available.

But as the virus has spread and scientists gather research, the emerging picture has been a little more complex than in previous outbreaks, and the pressure for more aggressive measures has intensified.

Last week, President Biden’s health secretary urged states and municipalities to take more initiatives, noting that most public health powers in the United States are concentrated at local levels.

“We don’t control public health in 50 states, territories and tribal jurisdictions,” Javier Becerra, Secretary of Health and Human Services, said in response to a reporter’s question. “We rely on our partnership to work with them. They need to work with us.”

California’s emergency declaration will allow emergency medical service workers to receive federally approved monkeypox vaccines.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul issued an emergency declaration on Friday, it said the move would put pressure on federal health officials to send additional monkeypox vaccines to the state. On Monday, Illinois Official JB Pritzker followed suitMonkeypox is “a rare but potentially serious disease that requires the thorough mobilization of all available public health resources.”

Mr Pritzker said the effort will “ensure that our LGBTQ+ community has the resources they need to stay safe, while members are not stigmatized because they access critical health care.”

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