New York governor declares monkeypox a ‘disaster emergency’

New York Governor Kathy Hochul issued an executive order Friday in response to the state’s growing monekypox outbreak and said it was a “disaster emergency.”

“After reviewing the latest data on the monkeypox outbreak in New York State, I am declaring a state disaster emergency to bolster our ongoing aggressive efforts to deal with this outbreak,” said the Governor Hochul. “More than one in four cases of monkeypox in this country are in New York State, and we must use every tool in our arsenal to respond. It’s especially important to recognize how this outbreak currently has a disproportionate impact on some That’s why my team and I are working around the clock to secure more vaccines, expand testing capacity, and responsibly educate the public on how to stay safe during this outbreak.

FILE PHOTO: New York Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul speaks during a news conference in Albany, New York, U.S. August 11, 2021. REUTERS/Cindy Schultz/File Photo

Cindy Schultz/Reuters

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, New York has the highest number of reported cases of monkeypox.

There have been 1,383 reported cases of monkeypox in New York, according to state data and nearly 5,000 in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the executive order will allow the state to respond more respond quickly to the monkeypox outbreak and enable healthcare workers to help vaccinate more New Yorkers.

Hochul’s statement came a day after monkeypox was deemed an “imminent threat” to public health by New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.

Commissioner Barrett said in a statement that this designation means “local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities will be able to access additional state reimbursement, once other federal and state funding sources will have been maximized”.

PHOTO: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene healthcare workers work in intake tents where individuals are registered to receive the monkeypox vaccine on July 29, 2022 in New York.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – JULY 29: New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene healthcare workers work in admission tents where individuals are registered to receive the smallpox vaccine of the Monkey on July 29, 2022 in New York City. The World Health Organization has now declared the monkeypox epidemic, which continues to grow globally, a global emergency. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Monkeypox is mainly transmitted from person to person through physical and close contact. A fever, muscle aches, chills, headache and fatigue are some of the symptoms. Painful sores and rashes also develop on a person’s body.

In the United States, most cases have been reported among gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men and have been linked to male-to-male sexual contact. Although health officials have repeatedly stressed that the virus can affect anyone in close contact with people with monkeypox. According to the CDC, people with weakened immune systems, pregnant women, and children under age 8 may be at increased risk for serious consequences.

“Every American should pay attention to monkeypox,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra told reporters on Thursday. “Monkeypox is not COVID, but it is contagious. It is painful and can be dangerous.

The World Health Organization last week declared the monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency of international concern.

ABC News’ Matt J. Foster and Meredith Deliso contributed to this report.

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