TOP STORIES New York declares monkeypox public health emergency

New York declares monkeypox public health emergency


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New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene health workers help people register for monkeypox vaccine at one of the city’s vaccination sites on Tuesday.

Mary Altaffer/AP

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Mary Altaffer/AP

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene health workers help people register for monkeypox vaccine at one of the city’s vaccination sites on Tuesday.

Mary Altaffer/AP

NEW YORK. On Saturday, New York City officials declared a public health emergency over the spread of the monkeypox virus, calling the city the “ground zero” of the outbreak.
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Mayor Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said in a statement Saturday that up to 150,000 city residents could be at risk of infection. The declaration will allow officials to issue emergency orders in accordance with the city’s health code and amend the provisions of the code to take action to slow the spread.

Over the past two days, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has declared a state emergency, and the state health department has called monkeypox an “imminent public health threat.”

New York City had 1,345 cases as of Friday, according to data compiled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California came in second with 799.

“We will continue to work with our federal partners to get more doses as they become available,” Adams and Wasan said in a statement. “This outbreak needs to be responded to urgently, with action and resources both nationally and globally, and this declaration of a public health emergency reflects the gravity of the moment.”

On July 23, the World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency, and the mayor of San Francisco declared a state of emergency on Thursday due to the growing number of cases.

The once-rare disease had been identified in parts of central and western Africa for decades, but was not known to cause major outbreaks outside the continent or spread widely among humans until May, when authorities detected dozens of epidemics in Europe, North America and elsewhere. . .

To date, more than 22,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in nearly 80 countries since May, with about 75 deaths suspected in Africa, mostly in Nigeria and the Congo. On Friday, Brazil and Spain reported monkeypox-related deaths for the first time outside of Africa. Spain reported a second death from monkeypox on Saturday.

The virus is spread by prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact and by sharing bed linen, towels, and clothing. In Europe and North America, it has spread mainly among men who have sex with men, although health officials stress that the virus can infect anyone.

The type of monkeypox virus identified in this outbreak is rarely fatal, and people usually recover within a few weeks. But the lesions and blisters caused by the virus are painful.
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