Updated Aug 1, 2022 - Health

California, Illinois declare health emergency over monkeypox outbreak

Doses of monkeypox vaccine are pictured in Chicago. Photo: Vincent Johnson/Xinhua via Getty Images.

California and Illinois on Monday joined New York state and the city of San Francisco in declaring a health emergency over the monkeypox outbreak.

Why it matters: Monkeypox, which has spread to more than 70 countries, was declared a global emergency late last month by the World Health Organization.

What they're saying: California Gov. Gavin Newsom's (D) proclamation enables the administration to coordinate a "whole-of-government response to monkeypox, seek additional vaccines and lead outreach and education efforts on accessing vaccines and treatment," according to the announcement from his office.

  • "We’ll continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk, and stand with the LGBTQ community fighting stigmatization," Newsom said in a statement.

Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker (D) declared the state of emergency to "expand the resources and coordination efforts of state agencies in responding to, treating, and preventing the spread" of the virus, he said in a statement.

  • Pritzker also noted that monkeypox has disproportionately impacted the LGBTQ+ community, and that the state "will ensure the LGBTQ+ community has the resources they need to stay safe while ensuring members are not stigmatized as they access critical health care."

By the numbers: California has reported a total of 786 cases as of Monday, while Illinois has recorded 520.

  • Meanwhile, tthe city of San Francisco has identified 305 cases, and the state of New York 1,472 cases as of Monday.

What's next: U.S. health officials said last week that 800,000 monkeypox vaccine doses will soon be made available for distribution.

Editor's note: This article has been updated to include details of California's declaration.

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