NEW YORK (AP) — New York City officials have declared a public health emergency over the spread of monkeypox virus On Saturday, the city called it “the epicenter” of the outbreak.
The announcement Saturday by Mayor Eric Adams and Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said as many as 150,000 city residents are at risk of infection. The statement allows officials to issue emergency orders under the city’s health code and to change the code’s provisions to take measures to slow the spread.
In the past two days, the New York government Kathy Hochul has declared a state of emergency by the state, and the state health department has called monkey pox an “immediate threat to public health.”
New York had registered 1,345 cases as of Friday, according to data collected by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. California had the second most, with 799.
“We will continue to work with our federal partners to obtain more doses as they become available,” Adams and Vasan said in the statement. “This outbreak must be addressed with urgency, action and resources, both nationally and globally, and this declaration of a public health emergency reflects the gravity of the moment.”
The World Health Organization has declared monkey pox a global health emergency on July 23 and the mayor of San Francisco on Thursday declared a state of emergency about the growing number of cases.
The once rare disease has been identified for decades in parts of central and western Africa, but was not known to cause major outbreaks outside the continent or spread widely among people until May, when authorities discovered dozens of epidemics in Europe. , North America and elsewhere .
To date, more than 22,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in nearly 80 countries since May, with about 75 suspected deaths in Africa, mainly in Nigeria and Congo. On Friday, Brazil and Spain reported monkey pox-related deaths, the first to be reported outside Africa. Spain reported a second death from monkey pox on Saturday.
The virus spreads through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact and through sharing of bed linen, towels and clothing. In Europe and North America, it has mainly spread among men who have sex with men, although health officials emphasize that the virus can infect anyone.
The type of monkeypox virus identified in this outbreak is rarely fatal, and people usually recover within weeks. But the lesions and blisters caused by the virus are painful.