Two US states — California and Illinois — on Monday, declared a state of emergency over the monkeypox outbreak.
Announcing this in a statement, Gavin Newsom, California’s governor, said the emergency declaration would help support the state’s vaccination efforts.
“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 ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach,” the statement reads.
“We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization.”
In Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, its governor, said the state of emergency is in order to “expand the resources” needed to combat the current outbreak.
“The Monkeypox Virus is a rare, but potentially serious disease that requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent the spread,” Pritzker said in a statement.
New York state governor Kathy Hochul carried out a similar action on Friday when he issued an executive order declaring a state disaster emergency over the disease.
“More than one in four monkeypox cases in this country are in New York State, and we need to utilize every tool in our arsenal as we respond,” he said in a statement.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 6,000 cases of monkeypox have been reported in the US since May, with nearly half of them reported in California, Illinois and New York. No death has, however, been reported in the US.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had already declared the virus to be a global health emergency.