A state of emergency has been declared in California and Illinois due to monkeypox

While the World Health Organization has declared the monkeypox outbreak an international emergency, the Biden administration has not declared a national health emergency.

California is the third and largest state to issue statewide disease declarations. New York was the first to do this.

California’s move allows emergency medical personnel across the state to administer FDA-approved monkeypox vaccines, expanding access to residents to vaccinate against the virus even as vaccine shortages continue.

“Expanding the pool of eligible vaccines will significantly aid current efforts and support the expected doses of immunization efforts once the federal government receives additional funding.”

“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 focus on vaccines, treatment and outreach to those most at risk,” said Gov. . Gavin Newsom said in a press release.

Illinois’ declaration also provides more resources to fight the virus, Gov. JB Pritzker said. The Chicago and state health departments announced Illinois’ first suspected case on June 2.
“I am declaring a state of emergency to expand the resources and coordination efforts of government agencies to prevent, treat, and prevent the spread of MPV.” Pritzker tweeted. “In Illinois, we will ensure that our LGBTQ+ community has the resources they need to stay safe, while ensuring that members are not stigmatized in accessing health care.”
Monkeypox is a disease associated with chickenpox, usually characterized by pimple-like or blister-like lesions, as well as flu-like symptoms, such as fever, headache, muscle aches, chills and respiratory symptoms, according to the CDC.
According to the CDC, the virus can be spread to anyone through close, often skin-to-skin contact. Humans can also contract monkeypox from infected animals.

According to the governor, California has already received more than 61,000 doses of the vaccine and distributed more than 25,000. Los Angeles County has already received its vaccine, and state officials said California will release additional funds in the coming weeks.

Last week, San Francisco became the first major US city to declare a local health emergency due to monkeypox.

“We will continue to work with the federal government to provide more vaccines, raise awareness about risk reduction, and fight stigmatization of the LGBTQ community,” the California governor said.

California is using its testing, contact tracing and vaccine infrastructure to respond to the monkeypox outbreak, Newsom’s office said.

The CDC has made prescription antivirals available to patients with monkeypox, but access is limited in California. The treatment is now available at more than 30 facilities and providers across the state, officials said.

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California has also expanded monkeypox testing capacity and can process more than 1,000 tests per week, Newsom said.

The first case of monkeypox in the state was reported on May 21 and involved a person who traveled abroad. Now, 27 different local health jurisdictions have suspected or confirmed cases of monkeypox, including a case involving a young child.

In mid-July, the California Department of Health requested 600,000 to 800,000 additional doses of the monkeypox vaccine to help expand eligibility for confirmed and probable exposures, as well as those at high risk.

The Department of Health said in a news release Friday that it “hopes the federal government will supply additional vaccine to meet the state’s request.”

People line up to receive the monkeypox vaccine at the vaccination site at the Balboa Sports Center in Encino, Los Angeles, on July 27, 2022.

As of last week, the US Department of Health and Human Services had delivered 336,000 doses of Jynneos, an FDA-approved vaccine formulated for smallpox and monkeypox, from the strategic national stockpile.

Health authorities across the country have focused on education efforts to inform Americans about how monkeypox is spreading.

Monkey pox, according to the CDC, can be spread through “respiratory tract” and by touching objects contaminated with monkey pox secretions or fluids. In the recent outbreak, many cases appear to be sexually related, but monkeypox is not a sexually transmitted disease.

Many cases of this epidemic have occurred in men who have sex with men, including gay and bisexual men, and public health officials are focusing prevention efforts on this group. The virus is not unique to this community, but the nature of its close-knit spread has led to a disproportionate impact.

“Our team is also committed to reducing stigma among the LGBTQ community, which has been singled out and treated unfairly because of this epidemic. No one person or community is to blame for the spread of any virus. Monkeypox can affect anyone because it is spread through the skin. from skin-to-skin contact, as well as sharing items such as clothing, linens and towels,” California public health official Dr. Thomas Aragon said in a statement Friday.

After California’s state of emergency was declared, Equality California, a major LGBT rights nonprofit, applauded the governor’s move, noting that the virus “disproportionately affects gay, bisexual and queer men in California and across the country.”

On Monday morning, state Sen. Rep. Scott Wiener of San Francisco and members of LGBTQ groups called on Newsom to provide $38.5 million in the emergency budget to fight monkeypox.

CNN’s Andy Babinau and Cheri Mossburg contributed to this report.


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