The governor of California on Monday declared a state of emergency to expedite the fight against the monkeypox outbreak, making California the second state in three days to do so.
The proclamation, according to Governor Gavin Newsom, would aid California in coordinating a federal response, obtaining more vaccines, and leading outreach and education initiatives on where people can receive treatment and vaccinations.
In a statement announcing his decision, Newsom said, “We’ll continue to work with the federal government to get additional vaccinations, increase awareness about decreasing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community combating stigmatization.”
According to state public health experts, there have been close to 800 cases of monkeypox in California.
Hugging, kissing, and other close skin-to-skin contact can all result in the transmission of the monkeypox virus, as can sharing of linens, towels, and clothing. Health experts point out that although the virus may infect anybody, guys who have had sex with other men have been the majority of those falling sick so far.
According to Michelle Gibbons, executive director of the County Health Executives Association of California, “public health authorities are clear: stigma is unacceptable and unproductive in public health response.” Regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, monkeypox is typically spread through skin-to-skin contact and sharing of items like beds or towels.
The monkeypox virus type seen in this epidemic seldom causes death, and patients often recover in a few of weeks. But the virus’ sores and blisters are uncomfortable, and if they are in the throat or anus, they may make it difficult to swallow or urinate.
The announcement in California followed ones of a similar nature made on Saturday in New York and on Thursday in San Francisco. Even as recently as Friday, the Newsom administration has argued that it was premature to make such a proclamation.
Democrat Scott Wiener of San Francisco, a state senator, praised Newsom for his decision after pushing for the governor to make such a statement.
The epidemic of monkeypox is a crisis, and its management necessitates the employment of all available resources, according to Wiener.
In accordance with Newsom’s declaration, emergency medical staff may deliver federally-approved monkeypox vaccinations.
According to Newsom’s administration, it is comparable to a recent law that permits pharmacists to deliver immunizations. The state’s reaction, according to the report, is expanding on the measures put in place during the coronavirus pandemic to establish immunization clinics and ensure outreach to susceptible people in collaboration with local and community-based organizations.
More than 25,000 vaccination doses have been given out in California, which has received more than 61,000 doses.
Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger stated in a statement that “we don’t have any time to squander.” She said that the most populated county in the country must make full use of its resources to hasten the provision of vaccinations and assistance to individuals who have contracted the disease.
Los Angeles County has a separate distribution of vaccine, according to Newsom’s office.
The state has increased its testing capacity as of last week to handle more than 1,000 exams per week. The lengthy wait for test results, according to critics, delayed treatment possibilities.
Following the clinic’s closure last week due to a lack of doses, Peter Tran was one of hundreds who waited in line, at times for hours, to receive the monkeypox vaccination at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Monday.
“It is awful. It seems like this vaccination has been available for a very long time. Additionally, it’s not even a fatal illness. It is more difficult to spread than COVID. However, the nation’s vaccination rollout is dreadful, according to Tran.
“I believe that the data demonstrates that vaccination offers far better protection. That is the reason I’m doing it. Furthermore, I genuinely do not want the lesions on my body. I’ve heard that the lesions hurt and leave scars. I believe it provides still another incentive to go out and acquire it.
Before announcing their own state of emergency last week, San Francisco municipal authorities came under fire for their slow response to the epidemic. They then accused the federal government of not providing adequate immunizations. According to Dr. Lukejohn Day, chief medical officer at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital, the city got around 4,000 doses on Friday, allowing it to resume immunizations. By mid-week, it intends to start giving shots again.
As of Monday, there were 305 instances in the city, he added.
The epidemic of monkeypox that has affected more than 70 nations has been deemed a worldwide emergency by the World Health Organization.