Noting that the State of New York “is now experiencing one of the highest rates of (monkeypox) transmission” in the United States, Governor Kathy Hochul declared a state of emergency.
“I am declaring a State Disaster Emergency to strengthen our ongoing efforts to confront the monkeypox outbreak,” the Governor announced via Twitter.
New York declaration comes after similar announcement by the city authorities in San Francisco, California, which declared a state of emergency over the monkeypox outbreak earlier this week.
Hochul also issued an executive order that extends the list of people who are permitted to administer the monkeypox vaccines.
The updated list includes EMS personnel, pharmacists, midwives, physicians, and certified nurse practitioners.
“More than one in four monkeypox cases in this country are in New York, currently having a disproportionate impact on at-risk groups. We are working around the clock to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacity, and educate New Yorkers on how to stay safe,” Hochul said.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the State of New York has recorded 1,345 monkeypox cases as of yesterday (July 29) – the highest number in the country. San Francisco estimated that there were 305 monkeypox cases in the city as of the same date.
New York Governor said that her administration has managed to secure an additional 110,000 monkeypox vaccine doses, bringing the total to 170,000. The extra doses are scheduled to be delivered over the next few weeks.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the current monkeypox outbreak “is concentrated among men who have sex with men, especially those with multiple sexual partners,” because the disease is often transmitted through close skin-to-skin contact or contaminated materials such as bedding.
Monkeypox initial symptoms include fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills, and exhaustion, and those afflicted develop distinctive skin lesions.