KEY POINTS

  • California declared a state of emergency Monday in response to growing monkeypox cases
  • New York and Illinois issued a statewide emergency within the past week over local outbreaks of the disease
  • The three states have the highest number of monkeypox cases in the country

Rising monkeypox cases have resulted in three states declaring a state of emergency within the past week.

In response to an ongoing monkeypox outbreak, California declared a state of emergency Monday to bolster its vaccination efforts.

"California is working urgently across all levels of government to slow the spread of monkeypox, leveraging our robust testing, contact tracing and community partnerships strengthened during the pandemic to ensure that those most at risk are our focus for vaccines, treatment and outreach," California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a statement.

The state will continue to work with the federal government to secure more vaccines, raise awareness about reducing risk and stand with the LGBTQ community in fighting stigmatization, he added.

California is the third state to declare a state of emergency over a monkeypox outbreak after New York and Illinois, which declared emergencies Friday and Monday, respectively.

The three states have the most number of monkeypox cases in the country, publicly available data provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) showed.

New York currently has the highest number of cases, 1,390, followed by California with 827 and Illinois with 520.

Overall, 5,811 monkeypox cases have been reported across 48 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, according to the CDC. No cases have been reported in the states of Montana and Wyoming as of this writing.

Monkeypox, which can cause rashes to develop all over the body, among other symptoms, could circulate permanently in the U.S. if the outbreak is not contained, scientists and public health officials fear.

The disease is primarily transmitted through skin-to-skin contact during sex, CNBC reported, but people can get infected through close contact in general, according to the CDC. Infected animals can also spread the virus, the health agency said.

Monkeypox has a fatality rate of 1%, and no deaths have been reported globally from the current outbreak.

However, the infected may experience excruciating pain from the rash caused by the disease.

The CDC recommends vaccination for people who have been exposed to monkeypox and people who may be more likely to get the disease.

People are urged to avoid close, skin-to-skin contact with people with a rash that looks like monkeypox and to avoid contact with objects and materials that a person with monkeypox has used.

In addition, people should often wash their hands with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Tareco Timothy receives a monkeypox vaccination at the Northwell Health Immediate Care Center at Fire Island-Cherry Grove, in New York, U.S., July 15, 2022.
Tareco Timothy receives a monkeypox vaccination at the Northwell Health Immediate Care Center at Fire Island-Cherry Grove, in New York, U.S., July 15, 2022. Reuters / EDUARDO MUNOZ
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