California joins New York in declaring smallpox emergency in monkeys

The governor of California on Monday declared a state of emergency to speed up efforts to combat a monkeypox outbreak, becoming the second state within three days to take the step.

Gavin Newsom said the announcement will help the state coordinate the response across the government, find more vaccines, and lead outreach and education efforts about where people can get treatment and vaccination.

“We will continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risks, and stand with the LGBTQ community against stigma,” the Democratic governor said. owner said in a statement.

The monkeypox virus is spread through prolonged and close skin-to-skin contact, which can include hugging, cuddling, and kissing, as well as through sharing bedding, towels, and clothing. Those infected so far have been mostly men who have sex with men, although health officials note that the virus can infect anyone.

“Public health officials are clear: stigma is unacceptable and counterproductive in the public health response,” said Michelle Gibbons, executive director of the California County Association of Health Executives , said in a statement. “The reality is that monkeypox is mainly spread through skin-to-skin contact and sharing objects like bed sheets or towels, without regard to sexual orientation or gender identity.”

VIEW | Smallpox cases in monkeys on the rise in Canada:

Smallpox cases in monkeys continue to increase in Canada

As monkeypox cases soar in Canada, there are growing concerns that the vaccine is not widely available and that time may be running out to stop the spread.

The monkeypox virus identified in this outbreak is rarely fatal, and people usually recover within a few weeks. But the lesions and blisters caused by the virus are painful and can interfere with swallowing or having a bowel movement if in the throat or anus.

The statement in California came after a similar one in New York state on Saturday and in San Francisco on Thursday. But Newsom’s administration said as recently as Friday that it was too early for such a statement.

After pressing Newsom to make such a statement, Democratic State Senator Scott Wiener of San Francisco praised the governor’s decision.

“The monkeypox outbreak is an emergency, and we need to use every tool we have to bring it under control,” says Wiener.

Call for more vaccines

On July 23, WHO has declared monkey pox one “public health emergency of international concern“Doctors fear the same pattern will repeat as Canada, the US and European countries rush to vaccinate at-risk populations.

They are using a vaccine originally made for smallpox, which has been ruled out. In Canada, it’s called Imvamune, and a small amount was stockpiled years ago in case smallpox returned. Imvamune is also approved to immunize people against monkeypox.

Newsom’s proclamation authorizing emergency medical personnel to administer monkeypox vaccine has been approved by the federal government.

A person is vaccinated against monkeypox at an outdoor pedestrian clinic in Montreal on July 23. (Graham Hughes / Canadian Press)

That’s similar to a recent law allowing pharmacists to administer vaccines, Newsom’s management said. It said the state’s response is building on steps developed during the coronavirus pandemic to set up vaccination clinics and ensure access to vulnerable populations in the partnership of local and community organizations.

California has received more than 61,000 doses of the vaccine and has distributed more than 25,000 doses.

“We don’t have any time to waste,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger said in a statement.

Barger said the nation’s most populous county must use all available resources to speed vaccine distribution and help those already infected.

VIEW | This American came to Canada to vaccinate monkeys against smallpox:

To be vaccinated against monkeypox, this American went to Canada

Seattle, Wash., resident Justin Moore drove a truck across the border in British Columbia, with some friends, to vaccinate monkeys against smallpox, which he said he couldn’t get at home . He described the experience in Canada as ‘uplifting.’

Newsom’s office said Los Angeles County has received a separate distribution of the vaccine.

As of last week, the state has expanded its testing capacity to handle more than 1,000 tests per week.

In San Francisco, Peter Tran was among hundreds of people lining up for hours to get a monkeypox vaccine at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital on Monday. The clinic was forced to close last week because it did not receive enough doses.

VIEW | Concerns about the public health message surrounding smallpox in monkeys:

Concerned about the public health message surrounding smallpox in monkeys

As cases of monkeypox spread worldwide, mainly among men who have sex with men, there is growing concern that public health messages targeting the public that was omitted.

“It’s horrible. Like this is a vaccine that’s been used for such a long time. And like, it’s not even a deadly disease. It’s harder to transmit than COVID. But The deployment of vaccines across this country is absolutely appalling.” Tran said.

“I think the science shows that the protection is greatly improved with vaccines. So that’s why I’m doing it. And honestly, I don’t want to have those injuries. my body.”

The city received about 4,000 doses on Friday and hopes to administer them by midweek, said Dr. Lukejohn Day, chief medical officer at Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital.

The city had 305 cases as of Monday, he said.

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