California and Illinois declare monkeypox emergencies

California and Illinois declared state health emergencies related to the monkeypox virus in their states on Monday.

The governors’ proclamation will speed up vaccine administration, contact tracing work and prevention efforts, officials said.

The White House strengthened its stand against the virus Monday night by confirming that Bob Fenton and Demetre Daskalakis will be announced Tuesday as national monkeypox coordinator and deputy, respectively.

Fenton has helped lead the country’s mass vaccination effort against Covid-19 as Acting Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Daskalakis is director of the HIV Prevention Division at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

dr Anthony Fauci, the White House chief medical adviser, said the pair represent “a really good combination” to fight a disease that still poses some mysteries, including whether the virus can spread if a carrier has no symptoms.

The day’s movements follow last week’s declarations of states of emergency in New York State, New York City and San Francisco.


California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office said in a statement Monday that his move would bring “an entire government response” to the fight, which will help fund vaccination campaigns and research.

“We will continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about risk reduction and stand with the LGBTQ community in the fight against stigma,” he said.

The proclamation will allow emergency medical services workers to administer monkeypox vaccines, the governor’s office said.

The state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic will serve as a guide for setting up vaccine clinics in target communities, according to Newsom’s statement.

State Senator Scott Wiener, D-San Francisco, author of several legislations on LGBTQ+ issues, welcomed the statement on monkeypox. “We must use every tool we have to control it,” he said in a statement.

In Illinois, Pritzker said in a statement that his statement would also give the Department of Health full state authority to distribute vaccines and educate the public about the virus.

The disease “requires the full mobilization of all available public health resources to prevent its spread,” he said in the statement.

The Illinois statement gives the state an opportunity to urgently procure vaccines, the governor’s office said.

The governor’s move “will open up efficient lines of communication and cooperation across state lines, an essential step in tracking monkeypox and improving tools and processes to prevent and control it,” Illinois Department of Health director Sameer Vohra said in the Governor’s Statement.

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said the statement was urgently needed.

“This emergency declaration brings a needed, increased focus to the monkeypox (MPV) outbreak we are seeing here in Chicago, in our state and across the country,” she said in a statement.

The states with the most cases of monkeypox are New York (1,390), California (827), and Illinois (520), according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The vast majority of cases worldwide involve men who have sex with men, according to the World Health Organization. However, anyone can get it through daily contact with others and even animals, experts say.

Common symptoms include a rash with lesions, malaise, fever and swollen lymph nodes, health officials say. Chills, headaches and muscle aches have also been reported for the illness, which usually lasts two to four weeks, according to the CDC.

Lindsey Pipia and Associated Press contributed. California and Illinois declare monkeypox emergencies

Fry Electronics Team

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