Home / News / World /  Monkeypox: US declares emergency in 3 states amid rise in cases. Read here

Monkeypox: US declares emergency in 3 states amid rise in cases. Read here

FILE - People line up at a monkeypox vaccination site, Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Encino, Calif. California's governor declared a state of emergency over monkeypox, becoming the second state in three days to take the step. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) (AP)Premium
FILE - People line up at a monkeypox vaccination site, Thursday, July 28, 2022, in Encino, Calif. California's governor declared a state of emergency over monkeypox, becoming the second state in three days to take the step. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) (AP)

  • The three states account for almost half of about 6,000 monkeypox infections in the US and are home to three of the country’s largest cities.

New York, California and Illinois declared a state of emergency in response to the monkeypox outbreak and US President Joe Biden named a federal coordinator as the viral disease continues to spread around the country and the world. 

The emergency declaration is aimed at bolstering vaccination efforts and stemming the rise in new infections. The three states account for almost half of about 6,000 monkeypox infections in the US and are home to three of the country’s largest cities. 

California is working “to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach," Governor Gavin Newsom said in a statement Monday. 

The status change means emergency medical services personnel can administer monkeypox shots, similar to the statutory authorization recently enacted for pharmacists to give vaccines. 

Biden named Robert Fenton from the Federal Emergency Management Agency as the White House Monkeypox Response Coordinator, according to a statement. Along with his deputy Demetre Daskalakis, he will lead the administration’s efforts to combat the current outbreak, including equitably increasing the availability of tests, vaccinations and treatments.

Fenton is a regional administrator for FEMA in the American West with nearly 50 million people in his area of responsibility. Daskalakis is director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Division of HIV Prevention. The two are “proven, effective leaders" who will implement the US strategy “with the urgency that this outbreak warrants," Anthony Fauci, chief medical advisor to the president said. 

World Health Organization Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus last month designated the outbreak as an international emergency, paving the way for stepped-up global cooperation to stop the virus that has spread to dozens of countries. The last time the WHO made a similar declaration was during the early stages of the Covid-19 outbreak in January 2020.

A cousin of the smallpox virus, monkeypox had mostly been confined to developing countries for years, but has spread across Europe and the US in recent months. The pathogen typically causes flu-like symptoms, followed by a rash that often starts on the face and spreads down the belly. The illness can last for two weeks to a month, and can be deadly in some cases. 

So far the outbreak of the virus is concentrated in men who have sex with men, particularly in those who have multiple sexual partners. The WHO believes that using mitigation strategies in populations already affected by the outbreak could help slow the spread of the virus . 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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