- California and Illinois declare states of emergency over monkeypox.
- The action is intended to bolster both states’ monkeypox vaccination efforts as the virus spreads across the country.
- The US has detected some 6,000 cases of monkeypox in recent months.
The states of California and Illinois declared a state of emergency on Monday, August 1 due to the increase in cases of monkeypox. They join New York, which already did the same on Friday, according to EFE.
It so happens that the three states that have declared the emergency are those that are home to the three largest cities in the US: New York, NY; Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois.
US records thousands of cases of monkeypox
The emergency declaration authorizes state agencies to allocate funds and resources to help localities fight this disease. The US has detected some 6,000 cases of monkeypox in recent months, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
In late July, the CDC first detected two cases of monkeypox in children. Health officials indicated that both cases are related and that it is most likely that the children were infected at home by transmission from a family member.
California requests more vaccines from the federal government
California Gov. Gavin Newsom said the emergency declaration will help the state coordinate the government’s response, try to get more vaccines and spearhead education and outreach about where people can get treatment and vaccines.
“We will continue to work with the federal government to ensure more vaccines, raise awareness around risk reduction, and support the LGBTQ community in combating stigma,” Newsom said in a statement, according to The Associated Press.
How is monkeypox spread?
Monkeypox does not spread easily between humans. Infection occurs through close contact with infected skin, body fluids, or respiratory droplets from an infected person. It is a different virus from smallpox and it is being transmitted outside its usual endemic area (Central and West Africa), so it is necessary to exercise strict epidemiological control over it.
A person is considered contagious from the onset of symptoms until the lesions heal and a new layer of skin forms. For this reason, infected people should remain isolated until all skin lesions have healed, and especially avoid close contact with immunosuppressed people.
What the virus lesions are like
The period of incubation can range between 5 and 21 days, and the clinical picture usually begins with a combination of symptoms such as fever, headache, muscle pain, characteristic skin lesions and swollen glands.
Regarding its severity, epidemiologists point out that the cases of the current outbreak are milder than those described in West Africa, and that they are hardly generating hospital admissions. However, remember, lesions on the skin and mucous membranes are very annoying.