According to Axios California and Illinois on Monday joined New York state and the city of San Francisco in declaring a health emergency over the monkeypox outbreak.
The U.S. Center for Disease Control reported that there are over 5,000 cases currently in the United States, with one quarter of those are in New York. There have been reports of insufficient vaccines in some of the affected areas, so these declarations may be an effort to try and get ahead of the problem.
Axios further reported that 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.
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.
Although mainly sexually transmitted, monkeypox has been reported to spread through infected linens, and other surface contact. The virus has traditionally had symptoms similar to smallpox, and was first discovered in 1970.
California has reported a total of 786 cases as of Monday, while Illinois has recorded 520.