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A situation of public health emergency has been declared by the officials of New York city due to the rising number of monkeypox cases and called the city "the epicentre" of the outbreak. The announcement was made by Mayor Eric Adams and health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan on Saturday, saying that a total of 150,000 city residents could be at the risk of monkeypox infection, according to news agency Associated Press.

This declaration will push the officials to issue emergency orders following the city health code and amend code provisions to implement the various precautionary measures to curb the spread of the virus in the city.

Till Friday, New York city reported a total of 1,345 monkeypox cases and Calafornia had 799 infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data as quoted by AP.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul had also declared a state disaster emergency in the last two days due to the rising monkeypox cases, with the state health department calling it an “imminent threat to public health."

In an official statement, Adams and Vasan said that they will work with their federal partners to secure the doses of monkeypox vaccine as soon as they become available. They said that this outbreak needs to be managed with urgency, action, and resources.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has also declared that monkeypox outbreak constitutes a global health emergency.

Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general also said that the monkeypox outbreak can be stopped if the infected countries, communities and individuals aware themselves about the disease and take the necessary steps to stop its transmission from spreading among the people.

So far, more than 22,000 monkeypox cases have been reported in around 80 countries, with about 75 suspected deaths in Africa due to the infection. Brazil and Spain also reported first deaths linked to monkeypox infection on Friday. 

First identified in monkeys, the virus is transmitted chiefly through close contact with an infected person. Until 2022, the viral disease has rarely spread outside Africa where it is endemic.

 

(With AP inputs)

 

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