New York state declares monkeypox an ‘imminent threat to public health’

New York state declares monkeypox an ‘imminent threat to public health’

A state health official said that 'men who have sex with men' are most at risk from monkeypox, but that 'anyone' can contract it.

 The monkeypox virus represents an “imminent threat to public health,” according to New York state’s leading medical official.

“Based on the ongoing spread of this virus, which has increased rapidly and affected primarily communities that identify as men who have sex with men, and the need for local jurisdictions to administer vaccines, I’ve declared monkeypox an Imminent Threat to Public Health throughout New York State,” Dr. Mary Bassett, the state health commissioner, announced on July 28.

“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,” she stated.

The state announced in its news release that “anyone” could contract monkeypox, even though it acknowledged that homosexual men are primarily the ones contracting the virus.

Furthermore, a New England Journal of Medicine study published last month found that 98% of people infected with monkeypox outside of Africa were bisexual or homosexual. Forty-one percent of people who contracted the virus also have HIV, according to the study.

“Ask your sexual partners whether they have a rash or other symptoms consistent with monkeypox,” New York’s Department of Health advises people. “Avoid skin-to-skin contact with someone who has a rash or other monkeypox-related symptoms.”

San Francisco has also declared that monkeypox presented a public health threat, effective today.

A homosexual public health historian previously urged officials not to dance around the issue of homosexuality and monkeypox.

“I worry that public-health leaders are not doing enough to directly alert men who have sex with men about monkeypox,” Gettysburg College Professor Jim Downs wrote on May 28. “Gay men are not the only people at risk, but they do need to know that, right now, the condition appears to be spreading most actively within their community.”

He added that “health agencies are putting gay men at risk unless they prioritize them for interventions such as public-awareness campaigns, vaccines, and tests.”

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