New York Sounds Monkeypox Alarm, San Francisco Declares Emergency | Health info

Authorities say the declarations will help authorities mobilize resources.

New York and San Francisco have issued monkeypox alerts as cases continue to rise and the United States faces a shortage of vaccines.

New York authorities said Thursday that the virus “poses an imminent threat” to public health across the state. Health Commissioner Mary T Bassett said the declaration would help health services engaged in response and prevention activities “to access additional reimbursement from the state”.

Meanwhile, in San Francisco, Calif., authorities have declared monkeypox a “local public health emergency.” The Mayor of London Breed said the risk of illness remained low, but the declaration taking effect on August 1 would help mobilize resources.

“San Francisco has shown during COVID that early action is essential to protect public health,” Breed said in a statement Thursday.

“We know this virus affects everyone equally – but we also know that members of our LGBTQ community are at higher risk right now.”

“A few weeks ago, the San Francisco Department of Public Health requested 35,000 vaccines to begin vaccinating those most at risk of contracting the virus. So far in the last three weeks we have barely received 1/3 of that request…we are going to need well over 35,000 vaccines to protect our LGBTQ community and slow the spread of this virus.

The United States has confirmed a total of 4,907 cases of monkeypox, including 1,247 in New York, and 261 cases have been diagnosed in San Francisco.

Monkeypox is a usually mild virus that causes fever and a characteristic bumpy rash. It is spread through close contact, and during this outbreak experts say the virus has been detected in a disproportionate number of men who have sex with men. Monkeypox is not known to be a sexually transmitted virus, but sexual contact would constitute close contact, one of the main ways the virus is known to spread.

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern”, a label designed to sound the alarm that a coordinated international response is needed and could unlock funding and global efforts to collaborate on sharing vaccines and treatments.

On Wednesday, the UN health agency called on the first risk group – men who have sex with men – “to limit their sexual partners”.

Authorities in San Francisco said they were not enforcing behavioral restrictions or measures like those applied during the coronavirus pandemic.

The United States and the European Union have approved the use of a vaccine made by Danish drugmaker Bavarian Nordic, in an effort to contain the outbreak.

Globally, more than 18,000 cases have been detected in 78 countries, the majority of them in Europe, according to the WHO.

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