Monkeypox in New York City: Tests approved, more vaccines coming, officials say

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Tuesday, July 26, 2022
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Crystal Cranmore reports on the latest developments from Chelsea.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Monkeypox cases continue to rise in the Tri-State area, with cases in New York City now topping 1,000.

It comes as a new avenue for testing opens - and amid a new report about vaccines sitting in a European warehouse for weeks.

NY Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Monday that the Department of Health has reviewed and approved Quest Diagnostics' application for a new PCR test for monkeypox.

The goal is to expand the state's ability identify and track the virus.

Meantime, the scramble for vaccinations continues.

The demand for the monkeypox vaccine remains high, with the city's most recent posting of 17,000 online appointments taken in less than half an hour.

RELATED | LGBTQ activists call on Biden to address the rapid rise in monkeypox cases

A New York Times report is highlighting concerns over the U.S government's response to the virus.

The report says in the first few weeks after the virus was detected, officials requested only 72,000 doses of the vaccine out of a possible 372,000.

The remaining stockpile sat in a warehouse in Denmark.

Federal officials now say additional doses will be coming to New York soon.

The U.S. has more than 3,000 total cases, about a third of them in the state of New York.

"The experts are saying that the vast majority of cases are in the gay community and will continue in the gay community. But I have to be prepared for everything. That's my job as governor," said Hochul. "So I take this very seriously. We do not want this to spread, and we will do whatever we can to contain it."

The Biden administration is considering declaring monkeypox a public health emergency, following in the steps of the World Health Organization.

Anyone can get and spread monkeypox, though the current cases are primarily spreading among social networks of gay, bisexual and other men who have sex with men, so this community is currently at greater risk of exposure.

If you have a new or unexpected rash or other symptoms of monkeypox, contact a health care provider.

Monkeypox is harder to contract than COVID, as it requires close contact or the sharing of bodily fluid.

The symptoms of the rare virus include fever and rash, muscle aches, and chills.

Worldwide, monkeypox is deadly in between 3% to 6% of cases, though the death rate is less than 1% in areas with quality healthcare.

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