🕒 Last updated: Aug 2, 18:33 GMT
Three states declared state of emergency in order to step up public health response to the outbreak of monkeypox. Governors from California and Illinois declared their state of emergency on Monday, as the total number of confirmed cases of monkeypox across the country exceeded 5,800, according to CDC count. They were following New York, which declared an emergency on Friday.
Nearly every state within the US – with the except for Montana and Wyoming – has reported at least one confirmed case of monkeypox. Three states that have the emergency orders currently in effect are also the ones that have the highest rate of cases. Other states with higher case rates compared the population they serve, like Georgia and Georgia, are expanding tests and vaccinations, but have not yet announced similar state-wide measures.
Monkeypox usually begins with symptoms that resemble flu like muscular aches and fevers that can progress into a massive itchy rash. But , with the present outbreak, some patients have suffered only the rash or smaller lesions that could be mistaken with other ailments. The virus is spread from people by contact with close proximity, generally for long periods, and also by touching surfaces with infected.
New York became the first state to issue an state-wide order regarding the disease following the health department declared monkeypox as an “imminent threat to public health.” Governor. Kathy Hochul said the executive order will speed up responses to state’s outbreak, which includes the need to get more New Yorkers vaccined.
“After reviewing the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I am declaring a State Disaster Emergency to strengthen our aggressive ongoing efforts to confront this outbreak,” Hochul stated in the declaration. “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.”
Then , over the weekend officials from New York City declared their own public health emergency . They declared that the city is “currently the epicenter of the outbreak” with more than 150,000 residents in danger of monkeypox. On the morning of Monday New York, the largest state in the nation has confirmed more than 1400 cases of monkeypox, according to CDC information. New York is ahead of the states with the highest incidence rate in relation to the population, The Hill reported.
The declaration of a state of emergency typically allows governors and local government agencies to deploy the resources needed to areas affected faster. If declared in the case of the COVID-19 pandemic in the past, these orders allowed officials access to a stockpile in medical supplies. Governors may also temporarily suspend specific regulations and rules during the event of a health emergency. This permitted them to implement the masking of mandates, lockdown orders as well as other restrictions during the time of the pandemic.
In the case of monkeypox, the New York emergency expands the number of people who are able to administer the vaccine to include EMS pharmacists, EMS workers, and midwives, as per Hochul.
When Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker declared an emergency in public health Monday, he said it would “expand the resources” needed to deal with the outbreak. Illinois is one of the states that has one of the highest number of monkeypox cases recorded, with 520 cases after California with over 820 instances.
“The Monkeypox Virus is a rare, but potentially serious disease that requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent the spread,” Pritzker stated in a Twitter declaration Monday.
California issued its warning later Monday to boost the state health department’s educational efforts, and to seek out additional vaccines for monkeypox, and permit EMS personnel to administer doses as they do in New York.
“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,” California Governor. Gavin Newsom said in an announcement.