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New York is second major U.S. city to declare monkeypox a public health emergency

The New York City Health Department declared monkeypox a Public Health Emergency on Saturday.

People wait in line to receive the monkeypox vaccine outside a vaccination center in Brooklyn, New York
People wait in line to receive the monkeypox vaccine outside a vaccination center in Brooklyn, New York - Copyright POOL/AFP DANIEL LEAL
People wait in line to receive the monkeypox vaccine outside a vaccination center in Brooklyn, New York - Copyright POOL/AFP DANIEL LEAL

Officials in New York City declared a public health emergency due to the spread of the monkeypox virus Saturday, calling the city “the epicenter” of the outbreak. 

San Francisco became the first major US city to declare a local health emergency on Thursday. reports CNN News. The city said the declaration goes into effect on Monday.

The announcement was made on Saturday by Mayor Eric Adams and health Commissioner Ashwin Vasan, according to the Associated Press. As of Friday, New York had recorded 1,345 cases, data from the CDC shows, with California having the second-most, with 799.

In a joint statement, the mayor and health commissioner said: “We estimate that approximately 150,000 New Yorkers may currently be at risk for monkeypox exposure. This outbreak must be met with urgency, action, and resources, both nationally and globally, and this declaration of a public health emergency reflects the seriousness of the moment.”

The city’s emergency declaration comes after Governor Kathy Hochul declared a disaster emergency in the State of New York in response to the monkeypox outbreak.

“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,” Governor Hochul said. “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,” said Hochul.

The World Health Organization declared monkeypox a global health emergency on July 23, and San Francisco’s mayor on Thursday announced a state of emergency over the growing number of cases.

To date, there have been more than 22,000 monkeypox cases reported in nearly 80 countries since May, with about 75 suspected deaths in Africa, mostly in Nigeria and Congo.

The U.S. has more than 4,600 total cases of monkeypox, about a third of them in New York state, reports ABC News. The Biden administration is also considering declaring monkeypox a public health emergency, following in the footsteps of the World Health Organization.


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We are deeply saddened to announce the passing of our dear friend Karen Graham, who served as Editor-at-Large at Digital Journal. She was 78 years old. Karen's view of what is happening in our world was colored by her love of history and how the past influences events taking place today. Her belief in humankind's part in the care of the planet and our environment has led her to focus on the need for action in dealing with climate change. It was said by Geoffrey C. Ward, "Journalism is merely history's first draft." Everyone who writes about what is happening today is indeed, writing a small part of our history.

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