Test tube labelled “Monkeypox virus positive” are seen in this illustration taken May 22, 2022.
Three states have issued states of emergency so far in the wake of ongoing monkeypox outbreaks.
Nearly 6,000 infections have been confirmed in the US, according to CDC data.
The states of emergency will allow officials to ramp up vaccine and testing efforts in a bid to slow the spread.
Three states have declared states of emergency in the wake of a number of ongoing monkeypox outbreaks in the US.
Nearly 6,000 monkeypox cases have been confirmed in the US, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Monkeypox can cause pus-filled boils and rashes, as well as flu-like symptoms including fever, headache, muscle aches, backache, swollen lymph nodes, chills and exhaustion.
The virus that causes monkeypox is much less viral than the coronavirus which causes COVID-19, and though monkeypox infections have not been proven particularly lethal, patients are reporting severely painful symptoms.
Monkeypox infections are more common in central and western Africa, but cases have been detected across Europe and North America. Last week, the White House announced that it would send states an additional 786,000 monkeypox vaccine doses — on top of the promised 296,000 doses from earlier this year— as state health officials scramble to address the outbreaks.
At the end of May, the World Health Organization said at the time that it was not particularly concerned about the monkeypox outbreaks turning into a pandemic, but added that it was too soon to rule out the possibility completely.
In response to the rapid outbreak of the disease in the US, governors have been declaring states of emergencies to expand resources to stop the spread.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency on August 1 after the state reported more than 800 cases of monkeypox, according to the CDC.
“California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing, and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment, and outreach,” Newsom said in a statement.
He added: “We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community-fighting stigmatization.”
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker announced a public health emergency over monkeypox, which he described as “a rare, but potentially serious disease that requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent the spread.”
As of August 1, when the governor declared a state of emergency, the state reported more than 500 cases.
“I am declaring a state of emergency to expand the resources and coordination efforts of state agencies in responding to, treating, and preventing the spread of MPV,” Pritzker said in a statement.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed an executive order issuing a state of emergency over monkeypox on July 29 to “strengthen our aggressive ongoing efforts to confront this outbreak.”
“More than one in four monkeypox cases in this country are in New York State, and we need to utilize every tool in our arsenal as we respond,” Hochul said in a statement. “It’s especially important to recognize the ways in which this outbreak is currently having a disproportionate impact on certain at-risk groups.”
As of August 1, New York state reported nearly 1,400 monkeypox infections, according to CDC data.
On top of ramping up efforts to secure more monkeypox vaccines and improve testing, the executive order signed by Hochul will also expand the pool of certified officials who can administer vaccines, including EMS personnel, pharmacists, and midwives.