New York City and State Declare Spread of Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency
By Yehudit Garmaise
Leaders across the tri-state area are scrambling to secure monkeypox vaccines, which are in short supply, as 150,000 New Yorkers have been exposed to the virus.
On Monday, Mayor Eric Adams followed the lead of Gov. Kathy Hochul, and declared that the virus has created a state of emergency, which allows city and state leaders to suspend local laws and enact rules, as necessary, to protect the well-being and health of all residents.
Of the 5,000 patients nationwide who have been diagnosed with monkeypox, 1,300 of those infected live in New York City, the US Centers of Disease and Prevention reported about the new virus for which NYC may once again be “the epicenter.”
On July 15, just 17 days ago, 461 patients had tested positive for monkeypox in NYC, so the virus is rapidly spreading citywide.
“This outbreak must be met with urgency, action, and resources, both nationally and globally,” Mayor Adams and Anshwin Vashan, MD, the city’s health commissioner, wrote in a statement. “This declaration of a public health emergency reflects the seriousness of the moment.”
Monkeypox usually spreads through direct contact with someone who has a rash or sores from the virus, cbsnews reported.
The virus also can be transmitted through contact with the clothing, linens, and other items belonging to people who have tested positive.
Symptoms, which usually appear as painful rashes or blisters, usually begin seven to 14 days after exposure, but can take up to 21 days to appear.
The sores can be painful and can last up from two to four weeks. Some patients who have tested positive for monkeypox experience flu-like symptoms, such as fevers, swollen lymph nodes, headaches, and exhaustion.
So far, New York has received fewer than 200,000 doses of the vaccine, which has left thousands of people lining the city blocks hoping to get their shots.
Photo Credit: Violet Mendelsund/Mayoral Photography Office