New York is known for its rising violent crime rates, but it is now also the epicenter of the United States’ Monkeypox outbreak.
New York health officials revealed that the liberal state has more than 120 cases of the latest headline-grabbing disease. The numbers are higher than in any other state in the U.S.
In response, the state’s health department is opening more vaccine clinics to try and reduce the outbreak. Monkeypox is a viral disease that spreads through close skin-to-skin contact. Most cases have passed on through homosexual men.
The monkeypox outbreak has caused fear & anxiety for many New Yorkers, especially in our LGBTQ+ community.
Today I spoke with the @WhiteHouse about ongoing monkeypox vaccination efforts & I'm pleased to announce that thousands of doses will soon be available for New Yorkers.
— Governor Kathy Hochul (@GovKathyHochul) June 30, 2022
Health officials are trying to get the Monkeypox vaccine ready to distribute to as many people as possible.
“We are doing everything we can to get the vaccine to residents who have the highest likelihood of exposure and where we have seen Monkeypox is present,” said New York State Health Commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett.
The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus is concerned about the spread of Monkeypox in other non-affected countries. The WHO director said that 60 countries had been affected so far and over 7,000 cases have been reported.
Currently, Europe holds the record for the most cases in a country.
“My teams are following the data closely,” said Tedros. “I plan to reconvene the emergency committee so they are updated on the current epidemiology and evolution of the outbreak and implementation of counter measures.”
The U.S. currently has over 600 reported cases, with most of the spread resulting from men having sexual relations with other men.
Monkeypox is in the same virus family as smallpox. According to the CDC, it was first discovered in 1958 when an outbreak started in an area where monkeys were kept for research.
It is unclear where the virus came from. But both monkeys and rodents in Africa can store and infect humans with the virus.