More than 1,000 monkeypox cases recorded in New York City

US has most known cases in current outbreak

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New York has topped 1,000 cases of monkeypox, health officials said this week, solidifying the city as the epicentre of the disease in the US, which now leads the world in presumed infections.

Since the first US cases were detected in May, demand for testing and vaccination has been high in the Big Apple, with thousands of immunisation appointments being snapped up within minutes of being posted online.

The World Health Organisation has declared the global monkeypox outbreak in non-endemic countries a public health emergency of international importance.

“In New York City, the outbreak has been a local emergency for weeks and we are putting every resource we have to stopping the spread,” New York City's health commissioner Dr Ashwin Vasan tweeted on Monday.

After the city's health department faced criticism for a lack of equitable access and communication in its response to the outbreak, it rolled out vaccination clinics in each borough and increased updates to the public.

The city, however, is dependent on vaccines sent by the federal government. The New York Times reported that hundreds of thousands of vaccines had faced delays in Denmark over quality approval by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

On Wednesday, the FDA said it has approved JYNNEOS vaccines for use in the US.

Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra also said on Wednesday that the US is now working to distribute the newly approved 786,000 doses nationwide.

US agencies are also working to improve greater access to TPOXX, a smallpox antiviral that can be used to treat monkeypox.

The US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recorded more than 3,500 known cases — the highest count for any country.

Human-to-human spread of the viral disease can occur through sex, close physical contact, or interacting with clothing or other items used by someone with the disease.

The current outbreak is mainly affecting gay men, but this week, the CDC confirmed the first cases in children and a pregnant woman.

There have been no deaths reported in the US, but monkeypox does bring about painful rashes and lesions. It also requires a 21-day isolation period.

Updated: July 27, 2022, 6:18 PM