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NY: Monkeypox declared ‘imminent threat to public health’

The state Commissioner of Health Dr. Mary T. Bassett declared monkeypox an imminent threat to public health on Thursday.

On the same day, the Tompkins County Health Department reported a second case of monkeypox had been identified in a county resident. Officials confirmed the first case on July 19.

As of Friday, July 29, a total of 1,383 confirmed monkeypox cases have been reported in New York.


Related: Local experts talk Monkeypox, history of virus and how it compares to other diseases (video)



New York monkeypox cases rise above 1,300

Over 90 percent of those cases were reported in New York City, but Bassett warns the virus is spreading rapidly.

“Based on the ongoing spread of this virus, which has increased rapidly and affected primarily communities that identify as men who have sex with men, and the need for local jurisdictions to administer vaccines, I’ve declared monkeypox an Imminent Threat to Public Health throughout New York State,” said Bassett in a statement on Thursday, July 28.

“This declaration means that local health departments engaged in response and prevention activities will be able to access additional State reimbursement, after other Federal and State funding sources are maximized, to protect all New Yorkers and ultimately limit the spread of monkeypox in our communities,” she continued.


Related: Tompkins County: First case of monkeypox identified



Over 150,000 monkeypox vaccines doses distributed to NY so far

Also on July 28, Governor Kathy Hochul announced an additional 110,000 monkeypox vaccine doses were provided to New York by the federal government.

Roughly 30,000 of those doses will be distributed in upstate areas, with the rest going to New York City.

The additional vaccine doses build on the 60,000 New York City and New York State have received to date.


Related: Monkeypox cases double in New York over five day period


DOH: More information available on monkeypox

Anyone can get monkeypox, which is primarily spread through close, physical contact with an infected individual, said the state Department of Health.

“The current global outbreak looks to be driven by exposure related to intimate, sexual contact,” the release explained.

For more information on monkeypox and how the disease spreads, head to the NYS DOL designated monkeypox webpage.



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