New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced late Friday that monkeypox is now a state of emergency as her administration tries to disperse vaccines to prevent the spread.
The announcement comes amid a surge in monkeypox cases in New York, the current US epicenter of the epidemic, where the number of cases topped 1,400 on Friday.
Hochul tweeted: “I am declaring a state of emergency to strengthen our ongoing efforts to combat the monkeypox outbreak.
“This executive order allows us to respond more quickly and allows health professionals to take additional steps to help vaccinate more New Yorkers.”
Hochul continued, “More than one in four cases of monkeypox in this country are in New York, which is currently disproportionately impacting at-risk groups.
“We are constantly working to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacity and educate New Yorkers about how to stay safe.”
Monkeypox currently affects gay men the most, with an estimated 95 percent of American infections occurring among them. Home to one of the largest LGBT communities in the United States, New York City is waiting to receive 110,000 federal government doses and 800,000 monkeypox vaccines in the pipeline — but Hochul still wants more.
New York Governor Kathy Hochul has declared monkeypox a state of emergency, making New York the first state to do so.
New York City Mayor Eric Adams also declared a public health emergency as he decided to “expand reach and access to vaccines and treatments to keep people safe.”
“New York City is currently the epicenter of the epidemic, and we estimate that approximately 150,000 New Yorkers may currently be at risk of exposure to monkeypox,” he continued in the statement.
Hochul echoed the fear, telling reporters on Saturday that “what we’re seeing are signs that it could escalate dramatically.”
“When I say to the federal government that we need more benefits, more than we were previously allocated, I can demonstrate that the demand and the need is high,” Hochul continued.
Notifications are usually issued to trigger extraordinary administrative functions, such as increasing the number of people eligible to administer vaccines.
It also allows doctors and nurses to issue calls and also ensures that vaccine providers send data to the state government.
New York is expecting 110,000 vaccines from the federal government, 80,000 of which will go to New York.
Hochul emphasized that there was an acute danger “especially in the gay population,” but said, “We will protect them. We’re not going to sweep it under the rug.”
No deaths have been reported in the country so far, but several patients have been hospitalized.
The United States has become the global epicenter of the monkeypox epidemic, overtaking Spain after a record 24 hours in which 1,048 new cases were confirmed.
Updated figures from Wednesday show there are now 4,639 confirmed cases in the US
Spain currently has 3,738.
Spain has the most monkeypox cases per capita, while the US has the highest total
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said on Wednesday that the rise in cases was likely due to an increase in testing after it expanded capacity from 10,000 to 80,000 swabs a week.
By population—which takes into account that the U.S. has seven times as many people as Spain—America has about one case per 100,000 people.
In the US, cases were initially mostly linked to international travel, particularly to Europe, but now many are found in people who contracted the disease in the country. Experts suggest the virus may have been circulating for some time before it was detected.
Hotspots New York City and Washington, D.C., have been introducing virus vaccines to gay or bisexual men with multiple partners within two weeks to cover the virus, but those programs have hit a brick wall because the federal agency is delivering too few doses. Government.