Monkeypox’s Rapid Spread Causes San Fransisco to Declare a Public Health Emergency

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The rapid spread of Monkeypox has caused San Fransisco to declare a public health emergency. On Thursday, San Francisco and New York began getting the word out about the monkeypox outbreak as federal officials continue to ponder taking action and sounding out an alarm about the crisis.

To battle the disease, San Francisco became a trendsetter and leader when the city declared a public health emergency on monkeypox to boost efforts to combat the outbreak while dealing with the high demand for the vaccine.

In a statement, Mayor London Breed’s office said that the declaration, which will begin on Monday, “is a legal action that allows city departments to mobilize and coordinate more effectively,” reported CNN health. State and federal governments will be allowed to handle future reimbursements under the declaration.

“We need to be prepared, and this declaration will allow us to serve the city better,” Director of Health Dr. Grant Colfax said. “Our COVID-19 response has taught us that it is imperative that we mobilize city resources. The declaration helps us ensure we have all the tools available to augment our outreach, testing, and treatment, especially to the LGBTQ+ who remain at highest risk for Monkeypox.”

San Francisco, public health officer Dr. Susan Philip said: “We have always been on the forefront of advocacy and action for LGBTQ+ health, and I’m issuing this declaration to reaffirm our commitment to the wellbeing of these communities and to allow us to move more quickly to obtain and distribute the resources needed to help those disproportionately impacted.”

261 cases of monkeypox were confirmed in the city by The San Francisco Department of Public Health. California has a total of 799 cases.

As the virus spread rapidly in New York, state Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett declared it an immediate public health threat, citing its proven track record.

In a statement, she said, “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.”

Data from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that 1,247 probable or confirmed monkeypox cases have been reported in New York. The state has received more than 60,000 doses of the Jynneos monkeypox vaccine, informed the US Department of Health and Human Services.

San Francisco’s health department sought to obtain 35,000 doses of the vaccine. Unfortunately, the department reported that less than half, 12,000 doses, had arrived by Thursday. The Mayor’s office noted that this week an additional 4,220 are expected.

Only 4,720 doses of Jynneos had been delivered by Seattle King County health officials said. That is, 6% of the 80,000 doses wanted to protect the 40,000 people in high-risk groups from catching Monkeypox.

For best results, it is best to give Jynneos in two doses at least four weeks apart; however, with supplies low and demand high, some jurisdictions have resorted to administering the first dose and then waiting to give the second one.

Across America, 338,000 vaccine doses have been delivered, HHS said. To help with the crisis, the US Food and Drug Administration has authorized 786,000 additional doses of the Jynneos vaccine, and orders can be placed starting Friday.

To determine if the outbreak should be declared a public health emergency, the federal government will keep a close eye on the Monkeypox response, HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said on Thursday.

“What I can tell you is, we continue to monitor the response throughout the country on monkeypox,” he said. “We’ve made vaccines, tests, and treatments well beyond the numbers that are currently needed available to all jurisdictions who manage their public health systems.

“We will weigh any decision on declaring a public health emergency based on the responses we’re seeing throughout the country. Bottom line is, we need to stay ahead of it and be able to end this outbreak.”



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