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California Governor Proclaims State of Emergency for Monkeypox

The aim is to increase vaccination rates and awareness in the state with the second most confirmed cases.

Late yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency with regards to the monkeypox outbreak.

“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,” Newsom, said in a statement.

This comes on the heels of San Francisco and New York City declaring states of emergency along with New York State’s declaration that monkeypox is an "imminent threat to public health."

These declarations have been reflecting the increasing incidence rates of the virus as well as efforts by state and local public health to increase vaccination rates and education.

“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 the same statement.

As of yesterday, California has the second highest recorded confirmed case counts with 827; only New York has more with 1390 confirmed cases, according to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

CDC Information and Treatment Resources

CDC included this information on their website to provide an epidemiology criteria for cases:

  • Reports of contact with person(s) with a type of rash or who received a diagnosis of confirmed or probable monkeypox within 21 days of the illness onset. The rash can be macular (flat and reddened), papular (raised), vesicular (small, fluid filled), pustular (bulging with fluid inside), generalized or localized, or discrete or confluent.
  • Had close or intimate in-person contact with individuals in a social network experiencing monkeypox activity.
  • Traveled outside the United States to a country with confirmed cases of monkeypox or where the virus is endemic.
  • Had contact with a dead or live wild animal or exotic pet that is an African endemic species or used a product derived from such animals.

CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have developed a process to help clinicians secure an antiviral therapy, tecovirimat (Tpoxx), for treatment for patients with monkeypox. This falls under the expanded access investigational new drug (EA-IND). Clinicians can begin the process to secure tecovirimat by going here.

Tecovirimat is manufactured by SIGA Technologies, and is approved for smallpox and is being studied for monkeypox treatment. Contagion spoke with SIGA Technologies Chief Scientific Officer Dennis Hruby, PhD, recently about the therapy.