New York City Mayor Eric Adams on Monday declared a state of emergency due to an outbreak of monkeypox that has so far infected more than 1,200 people in the city, accounting for a quarter of all cases nationwide.
Adams said his orders would bolster the city’s efforts “to educate, vaccinate, test and treat as many New Yorkers as possible and ensure a full government response to this outbreak.”
Adams’ state of emergency will allow him to suspend local laws and implement new health rules.
New York Governor Cathy Hochhol has already declared a state of emergency regarding the state’s monkeypox disaster, and the state health department has called monkeypox an “imminent threat to public health.”
New York, San Francisco: Monkey Box threatens public health
New York City Health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan said up to 150,000 city residents could be at risk of infection.
The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency on July 23, and the mayor of San Francisco on Thursday declared a state of emergency due to the growing number of cases.
The disease, which had been rare in parts of Central and West Africa for decades, had been discovered but was not known to cause a major outbreak outside the continent or to spread widely among people until May, when authorities discovered dozens of epidemics in Europe, North America and elsewhere. other. .
So far, more than 22,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in nearly 80 countries since May, with about 75 suspected deaths in Africa, mostly in Nigeria and Congo. On Friday, Brazil and Spain reported deaths linked to monkeypox, the first case reported outside Africa. Spain reported its second death from monkeypox on Saturday.
The virus spreads through close and prolonged skin-to-skin contact, as well as by sharing bedding, towels, and clothing. In Europe and North America, it has spread mainly among men who have sex with men, although health officials maintain that the virus can infect anyone.
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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.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.