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There is currently a health emergency placed in California. Governor Gavin Newsom issued this declaration in response to the fast spread of the Monkeypox virus recorded last week. Following Illinois and New York City, where the epidemic is centered, the state is the third to make the declaration.
Newsom asserts that the declaration of a health emergency will help officials ramp up immunization efforts to stop the outbreak quickly. However, the World Health Organization and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have previously indicated a greater demand for the Monkeypox vaccine than available doses.
Due to an increase in the number of people visiting their facilities to seek vaccinations, many clinics and healthcare organizations are requesting assistance.
California’s Emergency Medical Services has been brought in to support immunization campaigns. Through increased testing, communication, and contact tracing, the governor reassured the public that efforts are being made to halt or at least slow down the virus from spreading further.
Three states are under a state of emergency so far
Following Illinois last Monday, which also declared a state of emergency, California became the third state to do so. The same declaration was made by New York a week earlier.
The CDC has now identified more than 6,000 cases of Monkeypox in 48 states throughout the U.S., including Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico. As soon as the first case of the virus was discovered in Boston about three months ago, the infection spread quicker than health authorities had anticipated.
California, Illinois, and New York, the three states where a state of emergency has been declared, are home to the nation’s three largest cities. Data show that the three regions have reported 47% of all cases in the U.S., with New York registering over 1,400 cases as of Monday, making it the epicenter of the outbreak.
Monkeypox has no fatalities, but the lesions that the virus causes cause the victims to experience discomfort still. Additionally, if the virus is not quickly controlled, health professionals caution that it may remain in the nation permanently.
Global health emergency declared by WHO
Late last month, the World Health Organization announced that the epidemic of Monkeypox was now a worldwide health emergency. More than 19,000 people have already been infected across 78 countries, according to WHO data.
The virus is odd since it has spread widely in Europe and North America while not being endemic there, as highlighted by experts and scientists from the organization. Only a small amount of the virus is transmitted, even in regions where it is prevalent, such as West and Central Africa.
Additionally, according to the CDC, men who had sex with other men account for 98% of all recorded cases. Accordingly, having sex when exposed to Monkeypox increases the risk of infection. A high-risk group for the virus, according to public health professionals, includes guys who identify as gay or bisexual.
The information does not, however, suggest that the virus is specific to one gender. The CDC has dispelled the myth numerous times. They contend that there are more routes through which the virus might spread, such as direct physical contact with an individual who has tested positive or exposure to objects that a patient has directly touched.
White House not yet declaring a public health emergency
High-ranking federal health officials disclosed that the White House is still debating whether or not to declare a public health emergency. Vaccination efforts would be expedited if a declaration were made.
The last time the United States declared a public health emergency was in 2020 when Covid-19 entered the country.
The Health and Human Services Department has already sent over 330,000 doses of the Monkeypox vaccine, and an additional of another 786,00, to the states in an effort to support their vaccination campaigns.
The government and Bavarian Nordic made a contract to import millions of vaccination shots, so there will be more to follow.
Opinions expressed by Texas Today contributors are their own.